The construction of the Burns Lake Water Treatment Plant is on track for a substantial Spring 2021 completion according to the village CAO Sheryl Worthing.
“All underground services are complete, all concrete work is complete, the building is complete, filtration, duct-work and H-vac systems are 60% complete, and the electrical work is underway,” said Worthing.
Last year, on Sept. 4, the groundwork on the project at 102 Eveneshen Road started. Canadian Western Mechanical was awarded the contract to build the plant and Procesco Inc. was set to be the treatment equipment supplier.
The $5 million project is being funded through the federal government’s contribution of around $1.9 million, the provincial government’s contribution of $1.5 million and local governments $1.2 million. The remaining $1.3 million is coming from the Village of Burns Lake, the Burns Lake Band and the Lake Babine Nation.
The plant is being built, keeping in mind specifically the filtration of manganese from the Burns Lake water. Earlier last year, Health Canada had changed regulations on the acceptable standards of manganese in drinking water with a new maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 0.12 milligrams per litre, up from the older standard of 0.05 mg/L. However, the manganese level in Burns Lake’s tap water was detected at at 0.35 mg/L, according to well site tests conducted last year.
The village also had water filling stations and sewer receiving stations installed by Civeo, at their cost to remove water and dump waste water into the village’s system. This project was part of a deal with CGL camp for the pipeline work.
For the water treatment plant project, first a treatment facility pilot study, geological studies and tests on wells on Gerow Island were conducted. After this, the Gerow Island wells were upgraded, which were part of the plant’s engineering design. The last stage for the project was the actual construction of the plant itself, which is set for a 2021 completion and is finally expected to bring a manganese-filtered source of water for the village.