East Coulee needs a bit of help. Their existing waste water lift station is at the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced. Good news and bad news for Drumheller taxpayers -- the replacement will be expensive, but the Town has secured a grant to cover half of the cost.
At Monday's meeting, Council progressed to the third reading of a borrowing by-law which would see the Town take on $485,000 worth of debt. Darryl Drohomerski explained to Council that borrowing the money puts some of the cost onto future generations who will benefit from the lift station.
The Town's Director of Infrastructure Services, Armia Mikhaeil, told 99.5 DrumFM why this project needs to be done soon.
"The existing lift station has come to an end of its life-span. The well itself is made of metal and it's corroded. So, it's quite about time to replace it. It was budgeted for and discussed during the last year or so, and this is the right time [to replace] it."
East Coulee has a relatively new waste water treatment plant. When it was built, there was no additional money available to upgrade the lift station.
Mikhaeil explained a bit about the sewage collection process in East Coulee. Sewage systems work with gravity but, in East Coulee's case, the waste water treatment plant is at a higher elevation than the manholes and residences. Because of this particularity, a pump is needed to lift the sewage up to the treatment plant.
If the borrowing by-law is approved by Council, the lift station will go to tender.
"Right now, we are in the design stage," said Mikhaeil. "So, the consultant is collecting historical information and doing some surveying work for the existing one to decide the location for the new one, the material, the specification. Once the design process is complete, this will go out for tender."
The consultant's estimate for the project is $1.37 million. The Town received a federal grant (through the provincial government) for up to half of that amount, or $685,000. Gas taxes of $200,000 will cover another portion, and the Town is looking to borrow the remaining $485,000.
At this point, the cost of the project is an estimate. Mikhaeil said that the Town will know more once the consultant is finished his work.
"It depends on what kind of material, because we have more than one option," he pointed out. "We can go with a fiberglass, we can go with concrete. I already had the kick-off meeting with our consultant who will be in charge for designing this [lift station] and we'll get options. This will allow us to compare between the price and the lifespan."
If everything unfolds as expected, the work should be completed by the end of August. Because the new lift station would be built near to the existing one, residents of East Coulee would be very minimally affected by the process.