Town lagoon receiving improvements over two years

Ponoka’s lagoon treatment system is receiving improvement after town councillors approved spending $489,649 for additional aeration.

Ponoka’s lagoon treatment system is receiving improvement after town councillors approved spending $489,649 for additional aeration.

The project brings aeration treatment to storage cell 3 and three solar powered aerators in storage cells 1 and 2. Ammonia and nitrogen are used to treat the cells but effluent treatment can be inefficient in the winter months as fluids freeze up.

Aeration stops freezing in the cells and treated effluent can be released in the spring, Mike Lewis, director of operations and property services told councillors March 12. “We were able to get two different types of treatment for the same amount of money and at the end of it all the solar powered aerators are ours, we don’t rent them.”

Lewis originally requested $225,000 for the first stage of the project in 2013 and $300,000 for the second stage in 2014 plus environmental fees.

He feels the benefit is not necessarily in the cost, which is relatively close to the same as budgeted but more in “the fact that we’re going to be able to drop cells early and the water’s going to be good.”

Air compressor systems are already running and the difference is the installation of additional airlines in cell 3.

Funds of $280,000 will be used from the 2013 capital budget and $250,000 will be used in 2014. Engineering fees are expected to cost $50,000. Nelson Environmental was awarded the aeration treatment project and H2O Logic was awarded the installation of the solar powered aerators.

Snow removal

Coun. Rick Bonnett asked why snow has been removed near the North Bridge after being placed there originally. He was questioned about the process by a resident.

Lewis said Alberta Environment does not allow snow to be stored within 200 metres of the river in case of waste or garbage flowing into the river from melting snow. He wanted to clear the roadways in a timely fashion. “I opted to move snow from there with the intent of moving it later.”

CAO Brad Watson said the town is looking to work with the province. “Our intent is to get a waiver to put virgin snow there.”

Snow without salt, dirt and garbage might be allowed to be stored at that location without later removal as long as it meets criteria.

Snow is currently being stored west of the Co-Op Oils location.