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Picture Butte CAO updates council on town projects

Posted on August 31, 2022 by Sunny South News

By Kenyon Stronski
Sunny South News

Opening the CAO report at the Aug. 22 regular meeting of Picture Butte council, Mayor Cathy Moore inquired into the town’s project with WSP, asking if it was indeed a failure and if it was just a lot of money invested for a poor result.

CAO Keith Davis responded it was a trial, and unfortunately a trial carries a certain amount of risk along with it.

“The end result of the engineers was that the company couldn’t prove to the engineers that it worked in a cold climate. When we had it set up, they weren’t getting the results they wanted and we asked for additional results from other trials they had done around the country where it showed that their microbiology was maintained through the cold periods. I did provide some of that information to WSP but WSP didn’t feel comfortable with the liability of that system in the cold weather. They’ll be giving us a report, so council will have more of a formal record and cost-breakdown on what that trial cost.”

No refund is available with the project which was fully established by the end of February. Davis noted the water wasn’t incredibly cold when the project was initially begun, and the results were incredibly good during the warm months. It was the cold that eventually hampered the entire project. Council asked where the failed trial would now leave the town.

“WSP have looked at other treatment processes and have kind of looked at ones that have more data and are further down the technology process than this one is,” said Davis, “It’s proven technology that WSP are now exploring. It’s similar to what we have, but it forms a heated trench so the wastewater that comes in is heated and the microbiology can maintain well. The one we use now hasn’t taken the step to implement that into their treatment process yet. We’re still expecting significant cost-savings from what’s recommended from our treatment process compared but I don’t have that information and WSP are currently still working on that report.”

Coun. Cynthia Papworth asked about the umbrellas Green Acres Health Foundation purchased for the lifeguards, also commenting that Deputy Mayor Henry de Kok was looking at sales for sunshades.

“I think we should get a couple of those for next year, I know they’re expensive but I think they’d really be an asset.”

Davis pointed out how working with a community organization to secure funding for the sunshades or other additions would be a good idea for the town.

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