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Sylvan Lake Council reallocates funds for emergency repairs to South Reservoir

Sylvan Lake staff have employed temporary fix to a chlorine system at the South Reservoir

Sylvan Lake Town Council has approved the emergency funding for the design and construction of a permanent fix to the South Reservoir’s chlorination system.

The South Reservoir has experienced two “critical failures” to the gaseous chlorine system. The first occurred in March of 2019 and the second happened in August of 2020.

Through an investigation and immediate work with the Environmental Services Team, the Town Town’s instrumentation and controls contractor and Alberta Environment, it was determined that “the gaseous chlorination system which was originally constructed in the 1980’s was at the end of its life cycle.”

According to Jared Waldo, communications officer with the Town, at no point was the public at risk as a result of the failure.

“At no point was the water quality compromised as a result. Our team responded quickly and were working with Alberta Environment to ensure continued safety,” Waldo said.

Waldo continued saying the water consumed by residents had been, and continues to be, tested and regulated to ensure safe potable drinking water was available.

According to the report presented to Council on March 22, the system had been regularly maintained, though finding replacement parts for the equipment is difficult due to its age.

A temporary fix, which included the installation of a “newer” liquid chlorine dosing system, was put into place while the Environmental Services Department explored more permanent options.

The report continued to say the system failure in August, 2020 was the result of the raw water intake being blocked by “over 38 years of mineral deposits.”

“This concern was further complicated with the fact that no redundancy was build into the old reservoir, which prevented us from having the option to replace the line. Unfortunately this singular line was constructed to run from one side of the reservoir through the storage tank, to the other side where the raw water intake requires chlorine prior to entering the reservoir,” the report states.

To temporarily fix this problem, staff utilized an old sump pump after verifying and testing it.

In 2020 the Town budgeted $55,000 for replacements to the South Reservoir chlorine system.

Council approved an additional $245,000, to be funded through the Utility Reserve, for the design and construction of a permanent repair to the system.

“The new prefab chlorine facility has been ordered and built under emergency procurement requirements and is expected to be installed in the spring. Once installed the Environmental Services Team will work on dismantling and disposing of the old system.”

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