Ground has officially been broken on the new Lloydminster Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers, Onion Lake Cree Nation Okimaw Henry Lewis, Saskatchewan Government Relations Minister Don McMorris, Alberta Minister of Transportation/Municipal Affairs Ric McIver and MLAs Colleen Young and Garth Rowswell were all in attendance as shovels hit the dirt on the facility on May 14th.
The starting of this project means several things for Lloydminster and the surrounding area. The new facility, built adjacent to the old one, will meet the needs of Lloydminster’s growing population, protect regional waterways while preparing for the future by meeting the federal and provincial standards along with adhering to environmental standards, the City says.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers says it’s exciting to finally begin this project, as soon the City will have a water facility that is built for the future, instead of one they may need to readdress within a decade.
“Our lagoon system was working, but it didn’t meet the requirements to get the water to a point that it could be returned back to the river to meet regulations. So we are now enhancing that with a mechanical waste water plant to ensure so that we meet and exceed the regulations.”
The new plant will be the main base of water operations in the City, incorporating infrastructure from the existing facility along 67 Street, such as the effluent pump station and screens. The existing lagoons will also be repurposed for storage, breakdown of organic waste and overflow.
It will clean 21,000 cubic meters or about 21,000,000 litres of water each day, but the facility could handle over 40,000 cubic meters in the event of heavy precipitation.
Aalbers explains that the cleaner water leaving the facility will have far-reaching positive impacts not just in the Border City, but far beyond it.
“It involves everyone that uses the North Saskatchewan River below us, so that includes the cities of North Battleford, Prince Albert, and all the way into the Hudson Bay. That affects multiple communities, sources of water, First Nations and Métis people along the way.”
He also noted the improvements this will make for animals and their habitats in this area as well.
In total, the project will cost $81.5 Million. The Government of Alberta and the Government of Saskatchewan are providing $12.7 million and $12.1 million, with the Federal Government kicking in another $24.2 Million. This leaves another $32.5 million, plus any additional costs, to invest on the City’s part.
Aalbers says he’s thankful for the collaborative effort of both former and current councillors, the two provincial governments and the federal government as well.
“Over three years, two governments in Alberta, ministerial changes or appointments in Saskatchewan, as well as in the federal government, just added to the complexity, as I think Minister [Ric] McIver alluded to, I had to share this story many times over about our needs, and where we wanted to go with this project, but I’m glad we’re at the point we are today.”
The facility is expected to be fully operational after testing. The launch date is predicted for sometime before December 2023.