Within hours, 14 Millarville homes will be connected to Turner Valley’s water treatment plant, with more to follow in the coming months.
Harry Riva Cambrin, Foothills County CAO, said Alberta Environment gave the green light to transfer the county’s water licence from Millarville to Turner Valley’s water distribution system, marking the last step to bring the project ahead.
“As long as everything goes smoothly it will be Friday, or Monday of next week,” he said. “I’m hoping we will have it all wrapped up by the end of this construction season.”
Riva Cambrin said more buildings will be connected in the coming months, including homes in Millarville Ridge, Millarville Community School and other facilities where interest has been stated.
“It’s going out for tender so expect sometime this summer it will be in place,” he said.
The water licence, which is owned by Foothills County, will provide sufficient water to supply Millarville with 10,400 cubic metres a year, or 28.5 daily.
Treated water has been hauled and dumped into a reservoir in Millarville since the 2005 flood resulted in the contamination of the hamlet’s raw water reservoir. As a result, the water treatment plant was unable to handle the turbidity in the water, said Riva Cambrin.
“When we did the engineering to determine the cost of upgrading the treatment plant it became obvious that it was actually more cost effective to build a pipeline from Turner Valley to Millarville than it was to upgrade the plant,” he said.
Connecting Millarville to Turner Valley’s system, which also supplies water to Black Diamond and is operated by the Sheep River Regional Utility Corporation, cost $5 million.
Two-thirds was covered by the Small Communities Grant, which was split evenly between the provincial and federal governments.
Riva Cambrin said the County is working to set new water rates throughout the county to come into effect in July.
The rates will incorporate the reduced cost of water once the system is in operation, which Riva Cambrin expects will drop from $12 per cubic meter to $4. The water costs are totaled and split evenly across utility users in the county.
“Once we’ve gone through a review of our costs, including this reduction in cost we’re going to have, we’ll be able to see what the new rates will be,” he said.