Rossland News/file photo

Rossland News/file photo

Water treatment upgrade for Rossland

73 per cent of total costs covered through federal/provincial cost-sharing grant

Rossland’s water treatment system is getting an upgrade.

The city’s been told its $2.6 million plan to modernize and improve the safety of its water system has received federal and provincial funding.

Rossland’s chief administrative officer, Bryan Teasdale, says the project will address numerous recommendations outlined in a recent study of the city’s water system.

One of the biggest projects will be to move the city’s system away from a chlorine-based treatment, to a liquid-sodium-hypochlorite injection system.

“Just from a safety perspective, we’re swapping out the system from chlorine gas to sodium hypochlorite,” he says. “It should reduce costs of operating a bit, but it’s mostly a safety-factor thing.”

The upgrades will also include installation of a new soda ash system, new turbidity meters, improving other mechanical equipment, and replacing antiquated automated communication and control systems.

Another big improvement will see a backup power generator installed.

“Right now if we lose power, we can’t produce water,” he says. “And if it happens at a bad time of year — unless there’s water in the reservoir, which there usually is — we can’t produce clean water to get down to the reservoir.

“So a standby generator means we will never have an interruption for the water coming into the water treatment plant.”

The project has been on the books for some time, Teasdale says, but was deferred because of the cost. City taxpayers will still have to foot about one-quarter of the total bill, or about $684,086, he says.

The project should be completed in the fall of 2020.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary applied for joint federal and provincial financial backing as well, to upgrade the Columbia Pollution Control Centre, the sewage treatment plant for Trail, Rossland and Warfield. That project, estimated at $52-million, was not on the recipient list released by the government on Aug. 27.