A series of Manitoba wastewater projects — ranging from the extension of a water distribution network to lagoon upgrades and the construction of a forcemain and lift station — will be benefiting several municipalities across the province now that government funding has been secured.
The funding comes amid a provincial climate that has 12 publicly-owned water systems currently under boil water advisories, and two other systems facing water quality advisories. The funding has also been secured while a longstanding controversy over wastewater funding for Winnipeg continues, with City officials now claiming the province has stepped back from its funding commitments.
In the City of Selkirk, the newly-announced funding will support the design and construction of a forcemain and lift station in the western part of the city. Once complete, it will reduce stormwater flooding, improve wastewater treatment, and expand the treatment and collection system to make way for up to 1,800 new homes and commercial development in the city.
The federal government, Manitoba and the City of Selkirk are each contributing $800,000 to the Selkirk Forcemain and Lift Station project.
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Selkirk broke ground on its $39.5-million wastewater treatment plant in August 2018, and construction is anticipated to wrap up January of 2020 to replace its 1976 treatment plant.
“Since 2011, the City of Selkirk, with the support of our funding partners, has made significant investments into our water and wastewater systems, improving our capacity to serve our growing community, our resiliency to climate change, and our environmental performance,” announced Larry Johannson, Mayor of the City of Selkirk, in a statement. “This project will support the future development of almost 750 acres and will reduce the current demands on our existing system,” he added.
New funding in the province will also support an upgrade of a wastewater lagoon in the Town of Neepawa. The federal government will be matching the $2.2 million Neepawa will be provider for the upgrade.
Lac du Bonnet will be contributing $650,000 that will be matched by the federal government for a new rural water pipeline that will extend the water distribution network to serve more residents.
Connecting more households to the regional wastewater collection system in West St. Paul will cost both the municipality and the federal government more than $2 million each.
In Cartier, both the municipality and the federal government will contribute $550,000 for upgrades to the St. Eustache raw water pond storage.
The regional municipality of Ritchot will receive funding to upgrade its raw water supply system and increase the capacity of the reservoir to meet rising water use from rural residents in Ritchot, Riel Industrial park, Ste. Agathe, St. Adolphe and Île des Chênes, as well as planned future expansion of the regional water system to the community of Grande Pointe and area. These upgrades will ensure the municipality can provide potable water to the existing and future population that meets both Manitoba’s and Canada’s water quality standards and legislation.
The Ritchot area projects will be funded through the Small Communities Fund, with each partner providing one third of the eligible project costs. For the Ritchot Water Supply and Additional Reservoir Capacity Project, the regional municipality of Ritchot, along with the federal and provincial governments, will each provide $1 million.