Located in a remote area in northeastern Saskatchewan, the Hatchet Lake Dene Nation is a community of about 1500 people that continues to grow rapidly. Having provided advisory and engineering services to the community for more than 30 years, Associated Engineering recommended an analysis of the community’s existing water and wastewater system to ensure the systems could accommodate growth and ascertain any issues.
Project Manager, Bob Hergott, tells us, “The analysis identified a number of system components that required upgrades, the most substantial of which was the water treatment plant. The main issues were raw water and treated water capacity problems. The existing water treatment equipment was consistently operating nearly 23 hours per day, thus putting a significant strain on the system. There was also concern regarding firefighting capacity.”
Through collaboration, careful planning, and understanding of the local conditions, the team developed a cost-effective project delivery plan
The water treatment plant project involved raw water pump upgrades, a new reservoir, a second clarifier, larger distribution pumps, fire pump conversion at the satellite water distribution centre, and installation of emergency generators to support water treatment plant operations.
The location of the Hatchet Lake Dene Nation presented the greatest construction challenge. The remote community does not have all-weather road access. Ice road access is available for two months each winter, subject to adequate freezing temperatures to build ice. Substantial ice is required because heavy loads for construction materials, gasoline, and propane are transported into the community. Careful planning ensured an effective project delivery plan.
The changing climate was considered in the design of water treatment plant upgrades. Hatchet Lake Dene Nation has experienced more warm weather periods over the last several years, and more autumn rains and winter snow. Heavy snow melts have resulted in large quantities of sediment reaching the lake which has affected the raw water quality entering the treatment plant, and therefore water supply. The sediment deposition has led to precautionary drinking water/boil water advisories issued for periods of time.
The $7.2 million project was completed on time and on budget in the summer of 2018. Associated Engineering provided multi-discipline engineering services for the water and wastewater system analysis and the water treatment plant planning, design, and construction. Key personnel on this project included Bob Hergott, Shengtao Weng, and staff from offices in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.