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Major water, wastewater upgrades set for Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan communities

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First Nations residents in Nova Scotia’s Inverness County, as well as several Saskatchewan communities, will soon benefit from substantial water and wastewater infrastructure funding announced last week by the federal government.

For Nova Scotia, the current Whycocomagh wastewater treatment plant is operating near full capacity. It was constructed in 1977 and received upgrades in 1992. Thanks to a $5.8 million investment from three levels of government, residents of Whycocomagh and We’koqma’q First Nations will have the facility replaced.

“Due to the age and condition of the current facility, the system is a priority for replacement. The new facility will help keep Whycocomagh safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable for many years to come,” announced Municipal Affairs Minister Brendan Maguire in a statement.

In 2019, Dillon Consulting undertook an assessment of the facility.

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Design work on the Whycocomagh wastewater treatment plant is expected to be completed by January 2022, with the overall project expected to be completed by March 2024.

The Saskatchewan funding includes $222.8 million in joint program funding to support an infrastructure rejuvenation project at the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, which supplies potable water to more than 260,000 people living in Regina, Moose Jaw and other communities in the region.

The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment modifications will include upgrades to the main treatment plant, pump stations and reservoirs. The plant was commissioned in 1955 and has undergone three major capacity and process improvements since its original construction.

The awarding of the design services for the plant renewal project was granted to a joint venture consisting of Graham Infrastructure Inc. and AECON Water Infrastructure Inc.

The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation, owned by the cities of Regina and Moose Jaw, is contributing more than $59.4 million under the program, and is responsible for any additional costs.

“With these upgrades and our city’s installation of the new transmission line to our high service reservoir, Moose Javians and surrounding communities can be assured that we will have efficient and effective delivery of safe drinking water,” announced Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie in a statement. “This multimillion-dollar investment eliminates the need for major utility rate increases in the future related to upgrades to the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant,” he added.

How the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant Works

A specific breakdown of the plant’s water treatment process can be found here.

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