District of Clearwater should take another look at the feasibility of a small-scale hydro project in its watershed, according to Isadora D’Avila, an engineering exchange student doing a practicum at the municipality.
“Maybe it’s a good idea to do this feasibility study again, but with a different consultant,” she told town council during its Nov. 4 meeting.
D’Avila said her mother works at a major power company in Brazil.
She consulted with engineers in the company and was told that a small power plant on Russell Creek could generate 0.4 megawatts of electricity. Payback could be in 10 years on a simplified basis, otherwise 15 to 17.
What would be needed would be at least one year of stream-flow monitoring. At present the District has data on how much it removes from the creek at different times of the year, but now how much water is in the creek.
Also needed would be a measurement of the stream area plus climate data.
Clearwater’s new weather station should help with the climate data, D’Avila said.
She cautioned that the numbers used were based on experience in Brazil. Things likely would be somewhat different in Canada.
The engineering intern also reported that she has been investigating methods, both manual and chemical, to deal with the duckweed in Clearwater’s sewage lagoon.
The weed actually helps in wastewater treatment, she said, but there is too much of it.
Possible uses include bio-energy, compost, animal feed and aquaculture.
A third project she has been working on is what to do with the iron and manganese sometimes found in the water from the municipality’s Well #2, which is located across from Dutch Lake beach.