The Village of Burns Lake is seeking funding to build a water treatment plant, which would filter the manganese found in the village’s water system.
Manganese is responsible for the discolouration of tap water sometimes seen in Burns Lake.
Although the village says the concentration of manganese in Burns Lake is “relatively low,” and that it has no known adverse health effects, village staff and council are committed to addressing this issue.
Burns Lake’s water discolouration is one of the most frequent complaints the village receives from the public.
The project’s cost is estimated at $4.8 million.
The village has recently submitted a grant application through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure program, in which the federal government would contribute up to 40 per cent toward the project, the provincial government would contribute up to 33 per cent, and the village would contribute 27 per cent.
According to Burns Lake Mayor Chris Beach, the village plans to finance its 27 per cent contribution with long-term borrowing.
This is the village’s first grant application for this part of the project, which is now in its final phase.
An unexpected surplus in the Fifth Avenue water tower project last year allowed the village to speed up the project.
The first phase involved conducting an independent study and manganese pilot program, where a small plant was set up for six months to help determine which treatment process would best suit the village. A hydrogeological assessment was also conducted in Burns Lake to determine the condition of the current three wells and any issues that may be associated with them.
The final step is to build the plant. Construction on these types of projects typically take about one year.
Grant approvals will be made public in the spring 2019. If the village is successful in receiving the grant, Mayor Beach said work would commence soon after funding is received.