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Water agreement tentatively reached between County of Forty Mile and Village of Foremost

Posted on July 30, 2019 by 40 Mile Commentator
Library board chair Stewart Payne

Justin Seward
Commentator/Courier

The County of Forty Mile council had looked over the water agreement that will be shared with the Village of Foremost and voted in principle to support the shared proposal at their July 24 regular council meeting.
With the village owning the water treatment plant, the buy and sell agreement will see the county using the water so it reaches Etzikom and Manyberries.
County utilities manager Stewart Payne says for the county to operate without issues, the agreement will need to be in place.
“The managers have looked at it and county council viewed it today. The village council will review it next month,” said Payne.
In the meantime, legal has to look at it. Legal will look at before it’s finalized and when it’s finalized, both of the councils will vote on whether they’re going to accept it.”
The agreement will provide protections for both municipalities, operational parameters, which will allow the county to draw so much volume and pressure over so much period of time.
Also the guidelines will include who does the maintenance in one part of the line and on the other part.
“It draws the relationship between the two municipalities,” said Payne
The process before the agreement was put into place began with the building of the water treatment plant that officially opened last year.
“This has been a long three year project where we’ve been working with the village to solve water quality issues that Alberta Environment told us we had to solve,” said Payne.
Payne says the county hired an engineering firm to research the issue and suggested the village had the same problem and recommended both municipalities join together on the costs to fix the problem.
“The engineering firm came up with a study that had a number of options in it and the two municipalities chose the regional option with Foremost having the water treatment plant pushing water out to our hamlets,” he said.
The issue was the source of water which was aquafir, which has a number of dissolved solvents such as salts and metals in it that don’t meet Alberta or Canadian drinking water standards.
“Naturally occurring fluoride in the Foremost area is about four-and-a-half parts per million and it had to be below one-and-a-half,” said Payne.
The now operational Foremost Treatment Plant has a reverse osmosis treatment building which has treated fluoride levels once the raw water comes in from the well field and then a disinfectant is added.
The water is then stored and then pumped out through the regional water line between Foremost and Etzikom and the hamlets in between, he said.
The project also included the Water for Life funding program, which required 20 per cent of the line’s volume be allocated to rural use.
“There is a factor of volume allowed to be distributed to farm yards. We just haven’t finalized that and come up with a plan yet,” said Payne.
Once the regional pipeline is finished through to Manyberries in early November, then the water will be used in the hamlet. That’s when the county will know the 20 per cent allocation for rural users, he said.

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