Decade-old report supports LUC

By Geoff Lee

April 28, 2016 12:00 AM

A city report showing Lloydminster’s wastewater treatment facility has not been compliant with effluent standards for the past decade could help drive the push for a Lloydminster Utility Corporation (LUC).
Historical data presented to council on Monday revealed the existing lagoon system hasn’t been able to treat all the required solids for example, before effluent discharges into the North Saskatchewan River.
The technical performance report by Terry Burton, director of engineering and planning, dates back to at least 2006.
“The report says we have not been compliant for over a decade,” said councillor Leena Goodhand.
“As our city continues to grow and has had significant growth over the past 15 years it’s just becoming a bigger problem in how we deal with our obligations to discharge clean water back into the river.
“It’s part of the backstory we need in order to assist us in making a decision about whether we are moving forward or not.”
The proposed LUC in partnership with Epcor would enable the city to comply with Saskatchewan Water Security Agency’s higher discharge standards by July 2017.
The LUC will also enable to the city to construct a new mechanical wastewaster facility required by WSA at a reduced shared cost of $73.8 million versus $94 million to go it alone.
Goodhand said the report proves the urgency to find a solution to upgrade the existing wastewater facility.
“It’s moving forward toward a solution, but perhaps maybe stepping back a little bit, reinforcing how serious this is,” she said.
“It reinforces what I said in council today that doing nothing is simply not an option.”
Asked if the city anticipates trouble from communities downstream knowing the city’ wastewater treatment facility has not been compliant for years, Goodhand acknowledged that was a good question.
“I actually had a chance to talk to one of the senior leadership teams about that today because we are it,” she said, referring to being a non compliant community.
“Everybody is downstream of Lloydminster and for example, North Battleford and Prince Alberta have both upgraded their systems in the last decade at considerable expense to their taxpayers because it was a required step for their community.”
Goodhand said the problem is definitely top of mind for council and the city.
She noted the existing wastewater treatment facility has failed to be compliant in some critical areas over the years, but not to the point where the city would ever be sanctioned by the Saskatchewan government.
“They need us to keep operating a waste water treatment plant system, but like everything, standards change and technology changes and cities grow by 10 or 15,000, so here we are on the cusp of having to do something,” said Goodhand.
Goodhand noted council is currently embarking on phase 2 of the LUC proposal to assess the finer details of what the relationship with Epcor might look like.
“What are the risks, what are the rewards? That’s the process that will get underway in the next month or two,” she said.
The LUC will also be front and centre during the city’s upcoming Your Voice public forum on a variety of issues at College Park School on May 5 from 5 to 8 p.m.
“There’s been a cumulative gathering of information and facts over the last number of months and all of that will be available – anything that’s been presented to council will be available at Your Voice,” said Goodhand.
She added the information will be packaged in a way that she hopes citizens will understand and can ask thoughtful questions about to project leaders.
The city will also provide break out spaces for personal one-on-one conversations.

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