The City of Red Deer is receiving a grant through the Government of Alberta’s Water for Life program that will see the expansion of the City’s wastewater treatment plant.
The $49.2 million investment will help accommodate for the added wastewater flow from the North Red Deer Regional Wastewater Line which travels from Lacombe and Blackfalds, as well as the upcoming west line which will come from Sylvan Lake.
“We have invested significantly in water and wastewater projects in Alberta because it is fundamental to the economy and to ensure our environment is sustained,” Brian Mason, minister of infrastructure, said. “We get a lot of requests for this from municipalities because they are trying to make sure we can deliver services to their people that need them.”
Tim Ainscough, environmental services manager for the City of Red Deer, said the investment will fund an additional 15-years of capacity for the wastewater plant.
“We need to have the plant up and running for 2026, so we would look to start design in the next year or so and then we would look to construction and commission,” he said. “The plant we have right now is about 62 megalitres per day and this funding will go to expand that ultimately to about 100 megalitres per day.
“That will get us to about 2045.”
Mason said wastewater lines are critical infrastructure for municipalities.
“They aren’t very sexy but try doing without them for a couple days and you will see how fundamental they are,” he said. “I really want to thank all the people that work on water and wastewater commissions because they work hard with very little credit.
“They make sure that when Albertans turn on the tap — there is good clean drinking water there.”
He added these projects are made possible through municipalities collaborating with each other.
“The more municipalities can cooperate, the more efficiently we can deliver services and the more efficiently we can use public funds to deliver those services,” he said.
Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood said the project shows how communities can reach common goals.
“This treatment plant that is right here in the City will look after the wastewater from three various commissions — north, south and west —over a period of time,” he said. “It couldn’t have been done without the provincial government and their money today has been extremely important.”
Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said this project is important for ensuring safe drinking water.
“This wastewater upgrade provides for much-needed modernization of the critical wastewater needs in Red Deer and Central Alberta,” she said. “This funding positions Red Deer and region for sustainability given the economic realities we continue to face as a community and as a province.”
Mason added there will be more announcements in the upcoming weeks.