By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
The Town of Coaldale has completed another capital project which will support growth and investment in the town for decades to come.
The completed upgrades represent a $12.8 million investment into critical wastewater infrastructure and began after the project was identified as a high priority in Coaldale’s 2019 Infrastructure Master Plan.
The upgrades were completed in collaboration with the Town of Coaldale, MPE Engineering Ltd., and Chandos Construction Ltd. Coaldale’s CAO Kalen Hastings said, completing the upgrades was, “no small task” and required the demolition of existing equipment, the construction of two clean aggregate media bed nitrification cells, pump and pipe replacements, as well as the construction of a new tertiary treatment building and foundation.
Hastings said prior to the project being green-lit, the aerated lagoon treatment system was made up of one complex mixed aerated cell, three partial mixed aerated cells, and one irrigation storage cell. Although the new system has the same configuration, the upgraded infrastructure is now outfitted with improved filtration capabilities including ammonia removal and UV disinfection systems, as well as new aeration equipment.
The province’s Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership fund contributed $4.5 million to the project. In addition to the Province’s significant contribution, the remaining $8 million was funded by the municipality, including reserves from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI).
Mayor Jack Van Rijn said the project had two primary objectives, “To meet new wastewater effluent regulations from the federal and provincial governments and to accommodate the next 20 years of residential and commercial growth in Coaldale. The wastewater infrastructure upgrades were an essential investment to ensure the continued growth in the town’s industrial sector for decades to come.”
With these requirements now met, Van Rijn said the town can “easily get up to a population of 15 to 20,000 people,” in the future.
Coaldale’s existing industrial park is completely sold out, which has necessitated further industrial expansion.
“We have some private investors that are going to be doing a new industrial park and having this wastewater lagoon is very important for them to proceed with that. We have enough capacity now that they can complete the entire industrial park and not need to worry,” said Van Rijn.
MLA for Taber-Warner, Grant Hunter said, “growth has a cost, and one thing I want to say today is that the Alberta government is committed to being partners with the town of Coaldale.”
According to Hunter, Coaldale has successfully positioned itself as a business-friendly community and said projects such as the wastewater lagoon upgrades, are a necessary requirement to support growth. Hunter added, “I can say the Alberta government will be a ready partner to be able to help in that growth,” within Coaldale.
The upgraded facility is expected, to be open and ready to go in the coming week.
“Now we can be open for business for an industry that wants to come to Coaldale,” said Van Rijn.