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Fort McMurray #468 First Nation Water and Sewage Infrastructure

2016 – Ongoing | Fort McMurray, AB

In order to support the First Nation principle of ‘Decisions made today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future’, McElhanney was engaged by our client, the Nation to completed an economic master sustainability study, documenting the Nations vision for their future and plotting a road map to get there. One of the key requirements for many of the Nations future aspirations was to have reliable water and sewage servicing for its members (replacing its current truck fill and haul system).

Fortunately, the Nations neighbour, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) was also interested at this time to construct a regional water and sewage systems in this area – 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 RMWB’s regional services.

McElhanney worked with the Nation and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) to fund the design and construction of this project – ultimately funding the first phase of this project for ~$11M with future phases designed and ready to go as funding becomes available.

As the project proceeded, McElhanney completed concept and preliminary designs and cost estimates to help guide the Nation’s planning towards their ultimate project goals. When the project reach suitable refinement, McElhanney administered a public tender on the Nation behalf and ultimately provided construction supervisions and contract administration.

The project included building infrastructure on both provincial and federal lands, making the regulatory picture interesting from a project point of view, however McElhanney’s regulatory group navigated these different jurisdictions while still keeping to the projects tight schedule.

The first phase of this project included design and construction of :

    • Potable water connection to the RMWB regional system
    • A potable water reservoir and pump station (suitable to distribute clean water and provide fire flows throughout the Nation)
    • Water distribution piping system (connecting to each resident)
    • Wastewater collection system (collecting from each resident, using low pressure collection technology to economically and safely collect sewage)
    • Central Wastewater lift station
    • Sewage connection to the RMWB regional system

The design team used 3D modelling software (Revit) to model the buildings, piping and equipment of this project to great success – beneficial to all parties:

    • The design team was able to identify and eliminate conflict
    • The client visualize the end product,
    • The contractor was able to optimize the procurement and assembly process (resulting optimized pricing)

Finally – any good project is as beneficial to its community as it is well operated. As the Nation will own and operate the water and wastewater systems, certified community member operators will be critical to the projects long term success. As part of McElhanney’s ongoing commitment to being a part of the communities we work in, we sponsored a $25,000 scholarship (over 5 years) for operator training in this community to ensure there truly is seven generations of sustainable.

Services McElhanney provided:

    • Concept development and Master Servicing Plan
    • Grant writing/seeking support
    • Preliminary site evaluation (including creating of existing assets as-builts, evaluation of existing infrastructure for re-use, survey, geotechnical and similar preliminary site investigations)
    • Regulatory and stakeholder coordination (both provincial and federal requirements); including community engagement and open houses
    • Coordination of relocating of existing shallow utilities
    • Design (Preliminary, Detailed and For Construction):
      • Connections to regional water system (supply trunk main)
      • Water reservoir and pump station (structural, process, electrical and site works)
      • Water distribution system and lot servicing (including HDD installation)
      • Low-pressure sewage collection (including HDD installation)
      • Central sewage lift station
      • Connections to regional sewage system (force main) including HDD HWY crossing
    • Tender and Construction Contract administration
First Nations #468 Water Reservoir and Pump Station Ground Breaking
Reservoir Pumphouse Digital Site Rendering
Reservoir Pumphouse