Rocky View County unveiled its new $36-million water treatment facility 20 kilometres east of Balzac, Sept. 12.
Construction began in fall 2009 and by February 2011 water delivery began.
The Province’s Agriculture and Rural Development department provided an $8 million grant for the project and the remainder will be recovered by developer’s contributions.
Division 7 councillor Lois Habberfield was on hand for the grand opening and said she was elated to see the plant opening, thanking past and current councils for their support.
“It was a massive project,” she said. “These councils and administration were innovative and forward thinking and their efforts make today possible.”
The new facility, including raw water and storage reservoirs, a water treatment plant, a transmission main and pump and distribution systems, will support CrossIron Mills mall and the Wal-Mart distribution centre in Balzac. Once the new CN Logistics Park near Conrich is built, the facility will serve that operation as well. Each day the water treatment plant can provide 2,500 cubic metres of water and there are design options that will allow for a further expansion of the facility in the future.
“This facility has the ability to attract further business in the area,” said Habberfield. “We now have a safe water supply that is critical to the day-to-day operations of existing businesses in the Balzac area.”
Project manager Milton Ferretti called the opening a major milestone for the County during a tour of the facility.
“This is a Rocky View County solution made by the county,” he said. “It’s the latest, state-of-the-art facility we have in Canada.”
Ferretti said a double-blind test was conducted with water from the region, including Calgary and all participants picked the new facility’s water.
Lead operator of the plant Corey Kearney understands why that was the consensus.
“I’ve seen every technology there is in water and wastewater and this is probably the best I’ve ever operated,” said Kearney.
Along with being in charge of the new facility, Kearney has the ability to operate the entire plant remotely through a special laptop.
“It has alarms on it and if there’s an issue I can hop on the computer and check it out.”
About 30 people were on hand during the opening and they were later treated to tours of the facility.
People learned how the water comes into the plant, how it’s treated, chlorinated and sent out to end users and businesses.
For more information on the facility, visit www.rockyview.ca