District of Clearwater staff is working on a complete review of the municipality’s water system, according to a report to town council’s infrastructure committee.
The results of the review will be put before council for review and consideration by the end of June.
At present, the District has three water sources. The first is a small dam behind the ski hill that collects water from Russell, Hascheak and McDougall creek watersheds.
The other two sources are Well No. 1, which is located next to the Clearwater River in Reg Small Park, and Well No. 2, located across the road from Dutch Lake beach.
Well No. 1 was constructed in 1980 to provide an alternate supply to the Russell Creek source after low flows in the winter of 1979/80 were inadequate to meet the town’s demands.
The well has limited capacity when the Clearwater River is a seasonal low water levels – winter through early spring.
Traditionally, the primary source of drinking water has been the Russell Creek intake. In 2103 an ultra-violet treatment station was installed there, with two UV reactors plus sodium hypochlorite treatment.
Up until this time, the creek source was “duty 1”, which meant it was the primary source, with Well No. 1 second and Well No. 2 third.
However, for some reason the sequencing was changed and Well #1 became “duty 1”, with either Russell Creek or Well #2 as “duty 2”.
This change in sequencing has resulted in rising costs for power and maintenance.
One reason for the rising costs has been a significant increase in power consumption by Well #1, resulting in power factor surcharges or penalties.
Staff has reviewed the situation and new parts to correct it should arrive in a few weeks.
District of Clearwater’s water supply now has a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system that allows for remote monitoring.
The SCADA system identified that there were failures happening to the chlorine dosing system, including Well #1. Repairs were completed in early March.
Staff will meet with the District’s civil engineers as well as the SCADA contractors to go over howe the District can optimize its operational costs of the water system.
The goals will be:
• reduction of overall energy costs;
• reduction of maintenance costs;
• reliability of system components;
• better tracking of water usage to meet licensing requirements; and
• work program and costing requirements for improvements.