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Didsbury's water system inspection finds minor sediment accumulation

In consultation with Alberta Environment, Town of Didsbury hired specialized divers with equipment to remove sediment accumulation in storage facilities

DIDSBURY - Inspections using a high-definition submersible remote operating vehicle have been conducted on several water storage facilities in Didsbury as part of regular maintenance by the engineering, infrastructure and emergency management department, council heard at its recent meeting.

In his October report to council, Didsbury's chief administrative officer Ethan Gorner said the inspections led to several actions.

“Two underground facilities showed a sediment accumulation, which warranted removal,” Gorner said. “In consultation with Alberta Environment, the department hired specialized divers with equipment to remove the accumulation. 

“Further maintenance will be necessary in the near future to address some age-related concrete deterioration.”

The inspection at the Butte facility showed some sediment but did not warrant servicing at this time, he said.

“The overflow pipe will require replacement in the near future and the department will be installing a control value this fall on the overflow pipe outlet, for emergency control,” he said.

Using the town’s leak detector equipment, staff recently identified and repaired four water leaks, he said.

Regarding wastewater, he reported that the lagoons have started to thermal cycle, which is a yearly occurrence where the water in the lagoon starts to warm.

In response, the department has begun introducing sludge reduction additive to the lagoon to increase the population of bacteria.

“The turnover and bacteria combine to generate a strong odour at times. Fortunately, the duration is rather short,” he said.

The department continues to assess reception centre preparedness and develop internal capacity to respond to emergencies such as extreme cold, wildfire, rail and highway incidents, and tornadoes, he said.

The town’s unmetered water reduction program has been showing good results, with the minimum daily flow in town now at a three-year low, he said.

Coun. Dorothy Moore commended town staff for their effort in water loss reduction.

Council accepted Gorner’s report as information.

Dan Singleton

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