When Mayor Joe Danchuk made a visit to the lower bench of Montrose, he was stunned at the scope of work underway.
The village is in the midst of an $800,000 project to fix its sewage treatment process, so Danchuk went down to the site on Friday to have a firsthand look.
“The magnitude of this dig is unbelievable,” he said. “I was blown away by how much dirt was moved.”
The project entails re-building the rapid infiltration basin located at the Waste Water Treatment Plant.
What happens, is municipal sewage goes through the plant for treatment, then is filtered through the ground and eventually the effluent is discharged into Beaver Creek.
Danchuk says when the system was installed back in the 1990s, the collection pipe that carries treated wastewater to the creek, was not installed correctly.
“This is a huge project and something that needed to be done for the environment,” he explained. “It’s paramount that the filtering system works, and what was happening is the bank was starting to slough, so we were concerned with the potential for the bank to go down into Beaver Creek.”
Montrose applied for a grant through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund early last year as remediation was deemed a priority infrastructure project.
The village was fortunate enough to receive $395,000 from the federal government and $260,700 from the province, confirmed Chief Administrative Officer Larry Plotnikoff.
Montrose taxpayer’s are contributing $234,300 through existing water and sewer capital reserve funds.
“According to the Ministry of the Environment, over time, the old rapid infiltration basin was no longer effectively filtering the effluent,” said Plotnikoff. “So the village had no option but to address the issue to ensure that it remained in compliance with environmental legislation.”
The new basin will allow for the proper drainage and filtering of the effluent before it reaches Beaver Creek.
Regular testing of treated water and downstream areas of the creek area will continue under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment to ensure that proper filtering is taking place.
The project is on target to be completed in mid-February.