North Battleford is taking a big step forward in planning for the city’s future growth as work gets underway on a significant infrastructure project to install a new sanitary sewer force main and pumping station. The project includes the construction of a new sewage forcemain, a new sewage pumping station, and the decommissioning of the old sewage treatment plant.
Mayor David Gillan says the $16.1 million dollar project will continue to accommodate decades of previous, steady development and give the green light for future expansion.
“When we originally designed our sanitary sewer collection system, the city was much smaller, as a result of growth, we are now getting to a point where we need to conduct infrastructure replacement and prepare to accommodate for the city’s future capacity needs,” Gillan says.
A sewer force main is a pressurized sewer pipe that conveys wastewater under pressure from the discharge side of the pump. Force mains are typically used when there is not enough of a pipe slope to keep a liquid moving through the pipe by just gravity alone. Pumps or compressors are used to push the sewage through the force main from lower to higher elevations or across landscapes where deep excavation is not feasible.
“It’s a big project for a city of this size,” he adds. “We’ve been planning it for years and we are very fortunate to receive government funding, both provincial and federal, to finally get this done.”
In addition to servicing current and future sanitary sewer needs, the project will be able to handle demands created by changes in the local climate that increasingly bring heavy rainfall to the region.
“It seems the one in 50, or one in a 100-year, heavy rain events occur much more frequently,” Gillan says. “These events place significant pressure on our sanitary sewer system. The planned upgrades will be able to better manage the increase water runoff from torrential surface rains and help guard against potential backups as a result. Those kinds of situations can be quite disastrous for property owners,” Gillan says.
The contracts for the project were awarded this spring and work has started with completion slated for late 2022 or early 2023.
Fortunately, construction is not expected to create any major disruptions, although some traffic will be affected in the Riverview neighbourhood, as well as the segment of Yellow Sky to the south of Highway 16 and the Parsons Industrial Park.
“This project will ensure the long-term sustainability of our sanitary sewer infrastructure and will accommodate the future growth of our city for decades to come,” Gillan says.
Under the New Building Canada Fund, the Government of Canada is funding up to $4,533,333, and the Government of Saskatchewan is funding up to $4,533,333 toward this project. The remainder of the project and any additional costs will be contributed by the City of North Battleford.
For more information on this project, visit the City of North Battleford’s website at cityofnb.ca and search “sanitary sewer upgrade” for project updates, maps of the construction area and street closures.