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2013 Water Category ― Co-winner 1

City of Yorkton, Saskatchewan

Water Treatment Plant and Logan Green Water Management System

Population: 18,000
Project duration: 2006–2011
Total project value: $33 million

The City of Yorkton has built an advanced water filtration plant that incorporates an innovative system to treat backwash (water used for cleaning filters). The system purifies backwash in wetland settling ponds and returns it to one of the aquifers that the city relies on for water for its rapidly growing population.

By diverting backwash from its sewage treatment system, the city expects to save more than $9 million in infrastructure and operating costs over the life of the plant. The cost-effective and environmentally responsible system will deliver 22 million litres of potable water daily and is expected to meet the city's water needs for the next 25 years.

The project has also created a civic amenity that residents will enjoy for generations to come. Logan Green, an 85-hectare park preserve, has been transformed with a stream and fishpond, walking trails and six new multi-purpose sports fields built with landfill from the development.

This project received support from FCM's Green Municipal Fund (GMF 9062).

Results

Environmental

Economic

Social

  • Landfill was reused to create sports fields and a commercial subdivision
  • Wastewater treated in retention ponds replenishes groundwater and maintains wetland
  • Reduced costs for heating, energy and maintenance
  • $3 million saved in infrastructure costs
  • $6.3 million saved in operational costs over the life of the plant
  • 58 hectares of public green space with walking and cycling paths
  • A stream and pond with native plants, wildlife and fish
  •  Six irrigated, multi-use sports fields

Challenges

  • Yorkton had an antiquated water system consisting of four unconnected treatment plants that drew water from 14 wells scattered across the city.  To meet the demands of rapid growth, the city needed a new high-output treatment facility.
  • The city's 2020 Strategic Plan promotes environmental responsibility, sustainability and stewardship. It wanted a cost effective and environmentally responsible system with twice the capacity of the existing system.
  • The project area was zoned as Environmentally Sensitive because of a shallow aquifer that underlies most of the site.

Lessons learned

  • Community involvement is key. Community workshops generated useful areas for study and enthusiasm for the project.
  • Keep the design simple and realistic so local contractors can bid on the project.
  • Use one consulting firm that is familiar with all city projects. This approach made it easy to incorporate a second capital project, the aquifer recharge area, into the treatment plant initiative.

Partners and collaboration

Resources

Page Updated: 18/07/2016