The pipeline is already in and phase one of the water intake project that will eventually shift Estevan’s primary water source from Boundary Dam to Rafferty Dam is almost completed.
The construction started in March. The workers put the pipeline in, covered it and then left it for a while to allow the pipes to sink down. Now, when the pipeline sank and all the ground has settled the crews are at the point where they are carving the sides of Highway 18 and finishing the reclamation work.
At the same time, workers are finalizing phase one of the project at the Estevan water treatment plant.
Shane Bucsis, the manager of the city’s water and wastewater treatment plants, said all the pipe has been run all the way to the Estevan water treatment plant and currently contractors are installing it into the plant’s existing system. Once that is done the ground will be covered and everything will be put back to where it was. The grass will be reseeded and some trees will be planted.
The second phase includes the construction of the water intake structure and the pumphouse. It is slated to start in September when the contractors will sink the intake into the bottom of the Rafferty and build the pumphouse station.
The third phase of the project is planned to be completed in late September-early October. During this time, the line will be connected to the intake structure.
While proceeding with phase one, the city ran into complications as they hit about 600 metres of solid rock, which required bigger equipment to break through it. Besides, it was originally planned to tie the pipeline into the plant from the west side, but there was a large amount of groundwater in the way. So workers had to change the intake location and bring the pipeline in from the north side.
Despite the extra expenses, according to Bucsis, they are hoping for the project to be within or very close to their budget. But the final numbers are to come yet.
The project is moving forward and, as Bucsis noted, by next summer Estevan should be on the new water source.