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Calgary’s new Shaganappi Pump Station designed for energy efficiency and resilience

The Shaganappi Pump Station is the largest and most critical of the City of Calgary’s 42 drinking water pump stations. The facility provides safe and reliable drinking water to over 200,000 citizens in Calgary’s North Hill and Glendale Pressure Zones in the city’s northwest as well as critical institutions such as the Foothills Hospital and the University of Calgary. 

The original Shaganappi Pump Station was constructed in 1977, serving Calgary for many decades. In later years, the pump station began to experience mechanical and structural issues. An investigation determined that replacing the pump station would be more cost effective and efficient than repairing or rebuilding the facility in its original location.

In 2015, the City of Calgary retained Associated Engineering to assist in site selection, and provide design and construction services for a new pump station. The selected site for the new pump station was a City-owned greenspace adjacent to the Bow River. The site was chosen primarily for its proximity to the original pump station and existing large diameter water feedermains, which would facilitate connecting the new pump station to the existing piping. 

Since the new pump station serves established neighbourhoods, the station was designed at its maximum buildout capacity; flows were not anticipated to change due to increased growth and demand. Having extensive operating data from the original station was advantageous, particularly typical pump flows and hydraulics. With this information, the team designed the pumps to achieve their highest efficiency for the most frequent operating conditions, rather than at peak operating conditions, which maximized energy efficiency over the life cycle of the station. The new facility includes three 447 Kilowatt pumps rated at 100 million litres per day and three 447 Kilowatt pumps rated at 30 million litres per day pumping into the North Hill and Glendale Pressure Zones, respectively.

Type=N, Mode=P, DE=None City of Calgary - Shaganappi Pump Station - Exterior Drone footage - November 18, 2021

Pumping equipment is housed in a single-storey building, designed as a “post-disaster” structure using resilient materials, such as concrete columns and steel trusses. Given the proximity to the Bow River, the team considered climate change, and revised flood zone mapping available from updated flood modelling. The building was designed to resist flotation.

The new pump station was also designed for ease of use by maintenance and operation staff. An emergency generator was included in the design to facilitate the operation of pumps should the utility electrical supply be interrupted. The site is close to a public park, bicycle path, condominium, and businesses; limiting the impact of noise from the facility on nearby residences and park areas was important. Noise reduction measures included concrete block wall construction, heavy duty noise-cancelling overhead doors, duct silencers on the cooling air intake and exhaust louvers, and a super extreme grade exhaust silencer. 

Project Manager, Andy Barr, advises, “Connecting the new facility to the existing feedermain network was one of the most technically complex aspects of the project. This work needed to be completed in a tight three-month time frame, during the City’s low water demand period, but avoiding the main freeze up period from January to February.” The facility’s 1350 millimetre diameter suction, 1200 millimetre diameter north discharge and 900 millimetre diameter south discharge steel piping from the new station were connected to the existing concrete piping from the old pump station.

To retain the contractor, the City used a Request for Proposal process, rather than conventional tender, to better understand the contractor’s proposed work plan and approach, considering the site constraints, traffic, and public areas. Graham Infrastructure was awarded the construction contract and partnered with Whissell Contracting to complete the underground scope of work.

“This project is an excellent example of how proper planning, clearly defined technical requirements, a solid design, and detailed project execution coupled with collaboration and teamwork can result in successful project delivery. Strong collaboration between our team, the City, contractor, and stakeholders allowed this complex, critical infrastructure project to be delivered with minimal impact to nearby residents and businesses and without interrupting water supply to the citizens of Calgary.”

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