Desludging work underway

By Geoff Lee

September 6, 2017 3:34 PM

Necessary work to desludge the lagoons at Lloydminster wastewater treatment plant is now ongoing, with the contract being awarded to ISL Engineering Services. FILE PHOTO

Preliminary work is underway on a $3 million project to desludge the lagoons at Lloydminster’s wastewater treatment facility sometime this fall, to improve effluent quality.
The city’s administration informed the Governance and Priorities Committee meeting on Aug. 30 that the project management contract has been awarded to ISL Engineering Services.
“There is some preliminary work that has to be done before you actually see construction equipment and work being carried out at the wastewater treatment plant,” said Mayor Gerald Aalbers.
“That work is underway and administration felt it was important that information come out publicly, as well as inform council.”
ISL conducted an initial assessment for desludging the lagoons in 2014, and has extensive knowledge of the wastewater facility due to their involvement in the facility upgrade.
Officials from Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency (WSA) are at the site this week to ensure the city is following the appropriate legislation and requirements for the desludging.
“One of the challenges is, in the sludge there is all sorts of contaminants,” said Gerald Aalbers.
“We need to make sure we are following all the appropriate legislation—it’s best by consulting the government on something like this because this is not a small undertaking, $3 million is going to be spent, and we want to ensure that we do it properly.”
Coun. Aaron Buckingham said the desludging is a necessary project even if funds were available to build a new mechanical wastewater treatment plant that didn’t require lagoons for its process.
“It is a maintenance type measure that should be done regardless of that,” said Buckingham.
“Further to that, I do believe this shows good faith in that we’re not sitting back and waiting for this mechanical treatment plant that we’ve been working towards for years to come to fruition.”
Buckingham says the desludging shows the city does care about the environment.
“It’s proactive forward movement on many fronts, the environmental front, the building a new facility front, and just working with government on these projects,” he said.
He went on to say should the city find $80 million tomorrow to build a wastewater treatment facility, this project would have to be done anyway.
Aalbers also noted the city is still waiting for a letter of extension from the WSA with funding restraints putting the construction of a new treatment plant on hold indefinitely.
In a related matter, Aalbers said council will soon find out if a recent $6 million grant from the Alberta Municipal Affairs-Small Communities Fund can be applied to desludging.
“I just signed the documents today, so that will be going back to the provincial government and we’ll be in discussion with them shortly,” he said.

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