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County investigating water options

Posted on November 24, 2013 by Sunny South News

It may be fourth on the list of possibilities but the feasibility of a county-based water treatment plant is just one of the options being considered in a water needs assessment launched by the Lethbridge County.

The county has awarded the approximately $50,000 Water Needs Assessment project to MPE Engineering Ltd. with the funds to come out of the county’s Future Utilities Project Reserve fund.

The project grew out of county council’s frustration with restrictions placed on them in regards to the supply of potable water for non-residential properties.

In June of last year Deputy Reeve Henry Doeve put forward a motion to direct the county’s Economic Development Committee to establish a term of reference for the a potable water needs assessment for non-residential properties.

“I’m glad to move forward,” Doeve said of the council’s decision to award the contract for the project.

In September of last year the council approved a request for proposals which was dealt with this fall and resulted in two proposals being submitted. Both were reviewed by the county’s senior management team and put forth to county council at a meeting in October.

The Water Needs Assessment project will consider four options starting with the City of Lethbridge which currently provides water to county residents north and east of the city. A second option will look at water supplies from other neighbouring municipalities, including the possibility of regional collaborations and a third option would consider smaller scale water treatment plants that would be site-specific as required by future development.

The fourth and final option is a dedicated Lethbridge County water treatment plant that could possibly supply water to all of the county’s water systems.

The assessment will look at the needs for water to address current and future commercial and industrial development in the county.

With the county involved in water commissions for more than a decade, it is looking to the assessment to help determine what is the best value for the county in providing water to the region in the future.

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