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Cold Lake Sewers in Good Shape

A computerized model of the city’s wastewater collection system confirms that Cold Lake’s wastewater infrastructure is outperforming the systems found in many municipalities of a similar size.

“One takeaway from this is that council and administration can be confident that money allocated to underground infrastructure has been well spent,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “On top of that, this study will leave us with a computerized model to make sure we continue to make effective and efficient improvements to the system, and plan the expansion of the wastewater system as efficiently as possible.”

Council was presented with the draft results of an Inflow and Infiltration Study, conducted by ISL Engineering. The study involved flow monitoring over the course of two years to calibrate a new computerized model of the wastewater system. Smoke testing was also undertaken.

The model can be used to digitally test the system to check for needed upgrades, prioritize between upgrades, and plan for the efficient expansion of the system as the city and its population continue to grow. It can also be used to plan for the offsite levies needed to cover the cost of expansions.

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“This is a powerful tool at our Infrastructure Services Department’s disposal,” Kevin Nagoya, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer, said. “It will help to ensure that future developments are paying their fair share of the infrastructure cost, while also ensuring that new development does not stress existing infrastructure. It will also help staff identify which projects to move ahead on as we need to upgrade the existing system.”

The city’s wastewater system is made up of almost 86 kilometres of gravity sewers ranging in diameter from 150mm to 900mm, about 1,020 manholes, as well as five key lift stations servicing over 20 kilometres of forcemains.

Tests showed that the system would generally be able to handle a one-in-25-year storm event with only minor improvements required for it to meet a one-in-50 year storm event. Engineers recommended about $240,000 worth of improvements to bring the system in line with the ability to handle a one-in-50-year storm.

“There is always room for improvement, but this shows us we have spent taxpayers’ dollars wisely, while at the same time giving us a clearer picture of what future upgrades are most urgent,” Nagoya said.

Additional testing, including smoke testing in several areas, will be conducted by ISL Engineering this year before the report and the computerized model are finalized.

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