Turner Valley – Provincial and Federal dignitaries, including MP John Barlow and Kevin Taron, Manager of Municipal Recovery with the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs, were on hand at the end of November for the Turner Valley Water Treatment Plant ribbon cutting, signifying completion of critical upgrades to the water treatment system. The upgrades ensure the water meets the Provincial regulatory requirements for drinking water and provides capacity for the 25-year projected demands of the Towns of Turner Valley and Black Diamond, the Municipal District (MD) of Foothills, and the Village of Longview. Starting in 2016, the water treatment plant will be operated through the new Sheep River Regional Utility Corporation (SRRUC) currently being established through the Quad Regional Water Partnership (QRWP), a collaboration of all four municipalities.
“The 2013 flood removed much of the water supply available to our existing potable water system, explains Turner Valley Mayor Kelly Tuck. “Through the Provincial and Federal Disaster Relief Program, which to date has approved in excess of $24 million for repairs to the regional water system, we’ve been able to begin rebuilding. Even though we have not entirely replaced the capacity lost in the flood, the reopening of the water treatment plant today is a major step toward full recovery.”
“It’s vital that communities have access to reliable, safe drinking water. Our government is pleased to support the collaboration between your municipalities by providing critical Disaster Recovery Program funding to complete these significant upgrades to the Turner Valley Water Treatment Plant,” said Kevin Taron, Manager of Municipal Recovery on behalf of Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee.
In 2014, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) initially approved the water treatment plant and supply upgrades, which includes an infiltration gallery adjacent to the Sheep River. The approvals were appealed by two local residents. However, the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) upheld the approval in October 2015 – ensuring continued water supply for the system and community members throughout the region.
Part of the role of the SRRUC is to decide on the management and operational structures and opportunities that best suit the needs of the regional communities, including provision of water supply.
“Each member municipality receives an allocation of the available water supply based on its proportional investment in the assets that supply the water,” says Black Diamond Mayor Sharlene Brown. “Each member retains their own water license and assigns diversion of the water supply to the Page | 2 of 2 location of water withdrawal in Turner Valley. This assures that the water going through the treatment plant and being provided to the member municipalities is licensed and allocated equitably.”
Recently, the MD of Foothills has been approved for funding from the Building Canada Fund Grant to connect its Millarville area to the SRRUC regional water system. As a QRWP member, the MD may choose to connect new customers to the SRRUC system, but only under two conditions:
1. The MD receives the necessary water license to be used by the MD for its customers’ supply
2. The amount of water to be supplied to the new customers meets the capacity allowed in the SRRUC water supply agreements.
The MD of Foothills is continuing to investigate its options for connecting the Millarville area to the SRRUC water system.
In 2008, Black Diamond, Turner Valley, Longview and the MD of Foothills formed a partnership to integrate their infrastructure into a regional system by creating a 25-year plan for potable water delivery. The Partners engaged MPE Engineering Ltd. and Urban Systems Ltd. to design and implement the plan; however, the focus drastically changed with the unprecedented 2013 flood. Essential services became the priority when major components of the existing water system were destroyed. An emergency fire hose transporting water to Black Diamond from Turner Valley was the first of many emergency measures implemented. Today the completed Water Treatment Plant Expansion is one more step toward full water recovery.
For more information please visit the Municipalities’ Websites: