The Rural Municipality of Frenchman Butte No. 501 located in western Saskatchewan covers over 1,900 square kilometres and encompasses several communities within its boundaries, including the Town of St. Walburg, Village of Paradise Hill, Onion Lake Cree Nation Reserve, the Fort Pitt Farms Christian Community, and the Hamlet of Frenchman Butte.
Historically, household wastewater was discharged to residential holding tanks, septic tanks, or lagoons. Periodically, wastewater from holding and septic tanks was pumped out and transported by haulers to various sites for land application. Recently, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment indicated its intent to terminate land application of wastewater in the next five years.
Taking a proactive approach to the pending regulatory change, the Rural Municipality decided to conduct a wastewater management study to investigate its options for wastewater treatment. The Rural Municipality wanted to identify the most feasible way(s) to manage wastewater for the entire area. They also wished to determine if they could meet the needs of several communities without requiring each community to provide all of the wastewater treatment infrastructure. The Rural Municipality also wanted to explore any options available to provide partnerships within their boundaries.
Associated Engineering’s initial assignment included an assessment of the area’s wastewater treatment and disposal needs, and identification of opportunities for developing a regional wastewater treatment facility.
Based on the recommendations in the wastewater management study, the Rural Municipality retained Associated Engineering to proceed with the detailed design and construction of a wastewater management system, including two new sewage pumping stations, one in Paradise Hill and another in St. Walburg; 32 kilometres of 100 millimetre, 200 millimetre, and 250 millimetre high-density polyethylene wastewater forcemains; two new truck dump stations; a new booster station; and a new aerated lagoon to treat wastewater from the region.
Project Manager, Marvin Loewen, tells us, “The distance between communities presented a design challenge. We built a hydraulic model of the proposed wastewater collection system, which helped to confirm the design of the pump stations. forcemains, and the booster station for wastewater transmission. Due to elevation changes, we designed the system with a combination of pressurized (pumped) and gravity flow forcemains.”
Marvin adds, “The land available for the lagoon also created an issue. We designed a system with aeration, which reduced the overall land required to a sixth of a traditional facultative (not aerated) lagoon.” The smaller physical footprint of the lagoon reduces the facility’s impact on the environment.
The project’s general contractor was an Onion Lake Cree Nation-owned company. The project was completed in August 2020.
Our key personnel involved on this project were Marvin Loewen, Darrell Rinas, Indira Budimlic, Evan Latos, Wayne Lalonde, Mark Guidinger, and Kai Ch’ng.