Earlier this month we held a Groundbreaking Event for the construction of upgrades at our East Selkirk Water Treatment Plant. The upgrades will include a truck fill station in order to provide quality potable water to all residents and include installation of a membrane softening system so that residents will no longer need the use of in-home softening systems. The new design will also incorporate capacity for expansion of potable water from the East Selkirk Water Treatment Plant for residential, industrial and further commercial development to the south, including the Lockport area. As the plant had been designed to serve a future population of approximately 1,350 people, with now a long-term plan to accommodate approximately 2,760 residents. The upgrade will also provide for fire protection in the future in those areas.
Concern over drinking water contamination, septic field failure and boil-water advisories caused Council to take the unprecedented step of fixing this problem for the long term. We are pleased that our water quality meets all standards stated in the Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines after a boil water advisory was issued to the community of East Selkirk in 2001. To protect the aquifer in the affected areas, the RM began the process to install a sewage system and a water treatment facility in the community of East Selkirk. Engineering design and development of a water and sewer system was done in 2007. The water treatment facility was built to address drinking water quality and to address future drinking water regulations to improve our resident’s quality of life. The construction of the East Selkirk water treatment plant was completed in 2013 and the boil water advisory was finally lifted in 2016.
To continue to meet the high quality of potable water supply for St. Clements residents, plans to improve the water quality by further softening the water had been identified by the Municipality in 2017 followed by support received from the Province of Manitoba. Currently, many of our residents use in-home softeners to reduce the hardness in the water which can add salts into the sewer system further impacting its long-term capacity.
A proposal for the installation of a membrane softening system at the water treatment plant was put forward which would allow residents to no longer need the use of in-home softening systems. The added benefits included reducing salts in the wastewater system, reducing scaling on resident’s home fixtures and appliances and improving the taste of the water.
The total cost of the project is estimated at over $4,000,000 including any contingencies. This project is receiving over $2,000,000 contribution from the Province of Manitoba – Manitoba Water Services Board on a 50% grant funding. We appreciate the continued support from the Province as we continue to expand on the infrastructure services to our residents.
This is a major step towards not only providing quality drinking water for residents of St. Clements but also allows the municipality to expand on this service to areas where growth is occurring and further helps us prosper as a growing municipality.