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First Nations #468 Water Reservoir and Pump Station

2016 – Ongoing | Fort McMurrary, AB

In order to support the First Nations principle of ‘Decisions made today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future’, McElhanney completed an economic master sustainability study. The study resulted in a wide variety of future projects and opportunities, with one of the first priorities being to provide water and wastewater servicing to First Nations #468. The Nation was on trucked water and sewer, which at times was unreliable and posed health risks.

One of the Nation’s long term objectives was to provide its members with safe drinking water and wastewater handling/treatment. Fortunately, the Nations neighbour, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) was also interested at this time to construct a regional water and sewage system in this area, suitable for the Nation to connect to. A deal was formalized between the two parties and the Nation began detailed plans for its own water and sewage system, which would connect to the regional services.

In order to provide the required servicing, McElhanney completed a master servicing study and preliminary engineering to determine the optimal servicing for water and wastewater for the Nation. The solution involved connecting to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalos’ (RMWB) water distribution main to obtain potable water. Connection to RMWB’s regional wastewater main also allowed for wastewater disposal. McElhanney prepared preliminary designs and cost estimates to provide water and wastewater connections from the RMWB mains to the Nation, water and wastewater collection systems within Nation lands, and the wastewater pump station and water reservoir and pump station. Subsequent to the cost estimates and preliminary design, McElhanney worked with the Nation and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to obtain funding from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), to fund the design of the entire system ($55M); but only construction of the first phase (construction total of $10.7M) has begun; future phases are ready to go as funding becomes available.

The reservoir and pump station was designed to provide fire flow throughout the Nation, including provision for sufficient storage and top-up chlorination for water entering the reservoir and exiting the pump station. 3D piping software (Revit) was used in preparation of the reservoir and pump station which aids in visualization of the end product to stakeholder. This software also allows for more optimal contractor procurement and pricing as the information provides more thorough details and conflict checks.

As the Nation will own and operate the water and wastewater systems, certified First Nations operators will be required. As part of McElhanney’s ongoing commitment to being a part of the communities we work in, a $5,000 scholarship for operator training was provided to the Nation.

McElhanney provided:

  • Complete recreation of base record drawings set (survey, existing utilities, evaluation for reuse, etc.)
  • Water reservoir and pump station (structural, process, siting)
  • Water distribution and low-pressure sewage collection
  • Regulatory and stakeholder coordination (both provincial and federal requirements); including community engagement and open houses
  • Coordination of: geotechnical design, horizontal directional drilling, relocating of existing shallow utilities
First Nations #468 Water Reservoir and Pump Station Ground Breaking
Reservoir Pumphouse Digital Site Rendering
Reservoir Pumphouse