By Trevor Busch
The Town of Taber is seeking additional grant funding to enhance the new Raw Water Pump Station project at Chin Reservoir in 2022.
At the Dec. 21 meeting, administration was requesting council’s support for a grant application for the New Intake and Pump Station at Chin Reservoir under the Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) program. ACP guidelines require a resolution from the Town for a grant application. Under this funding the Town may receive $200,000 in a non-matching grant for the project. The funds will go to engineering for detailed design, essentially making the project “shovel ready.”
“It’s up to $200,000, non-matching so you get the whole fund. With that fund we’ll be doing detailed engineering, geotechnical survey, things like that,” said public works director Gary Scherer. “You would be the managing partner for this funding. Barnwell has already endorsed the project through their council, so we need council to pass the recommended motion so we can move forward.”
According to administration, some years of drought have taxed the town’s ability to access irrigation water from Chin Reservoir, and the town has incurred additional costs to ensure a reliable water source for residents and businesses. A new intake and pump station would ensure a reliable water source for the foreseeable future.
The town’s existing raw water infrastructure includes the Chin Pump Station (350mm PVC pressurized supply line, 400/525mm AC and concrete gravity supply line) and the Taber Irrigation District Canal Intake (500mm PVC gravity supply line, 500,000 cubic metres storage reservoirs adjacent to Water Treatment Plant) which operates during the irrigation season. The current intake at Chin Reservoir extends roughly 60 metres into the lake, while the proposed intake would be 400 metres.
The Chin Pump Station upgrade would include the construction of a new concrete structure adjacent to the existing pump station, a new intake pipeline extending out into Chin Reservoir to an elevation below the minimum supply level, submersible turbine pumps with variable frequency drives, and a new control building. This project is expected to cost $3,763,000 (inclusive of 20 per cent contingency, engineering and geotechnical). Under a cost-sharing scenario, the Town of Taber would contribute $3,492,064 to the project, with the Village of Barnwell forking over $270,936.
Two main alternatives were reviewed by MPE Engineering, including the recommended upgrade to the Chin Pump Station, as well as potentially rehabilitating the Barnwell Reservoir, which was discussed but declined as an alternative by council in March 2020.
The New Intake and Pump Station at Chin Reservoir project has received $1,429,000 of funding through the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership program, and is in the 2022 capital budget.
Coun. Garth Bekkering inquired if the new funding was available due to collaboration with the Village of Barnwell.
“Was this a surprise $200,000 that you didn’t figure on? That’s what I kind of thought. And you’re getting it because of the cooperation with Barnwell?”
“That’s part of the reason, yes,” replied Scherer.
By 2039, the town’s annual non-irrigation season raw water demand is projected to reach 1,545,227 cubic metres. This number far exceeds storage, so Chin Pump Station is critical infrastructure during the non-irrigation season (October to April).
Following discussion on Dec. 21, council voted unanimously to support the submission of a 2020/21 Alberta Community Partnership grant application in support of the Raw Water Pump Station at Chin Reservoir, and is prepared to manage the grant project and related compliance requirements.
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