June 13, 2017
Town of Slave Lake Chief Administrative Officer Brian Vance gave council an update on Town projects at its June 13 meeting.
“Multi-rec centre dehumidifiers and air conditioning are still on track and are expected to be operational by the end of July,” he said. “Commissioning for Lift Station E is underway and expected to be operational next week. We have a couple more things to finish up.”
Vance added, “Bids were in for the raw water line last week and the pump house this week. A report will be brought to Tri-Council on June 29th and Town Council on July 4th.”
Sidewalks, paving and street sweeping
In another update, Vance told council that the engineering is progressing for the 5th Ave. and 5th Street paving and sidewalk project.
“The RFP will be out by the end of the month and paving will be in August,” he said. “Line painting is progressing well. Gravel is scheduled for Thursday with dust suppression to follow shortly and street sweeping has been ongoing throughout town.”
Lost wheel culprit behind train rigmarole
“On Monday night the train lost a wheel at about 11:30 p.m.,” Vance said. “It blocked the crossings in town and town crews set up barricades and directed traffic. Emergency crews were also out.”
Recycling bandits causing frustration
“Recycle was cleaned up by the grads a week ago, but people are dumping off all types of garbage again,” said Vance. “It’s quite a mess – disappointing – frustrating.”
Salt remediation program working
Doug Baird, Town of Slave Lake project manager, presented an updated report on how things are going with risk management.
“To date, 430 cubic metres of salt-impacted water and 2,200 kilograms of chloride have been removed from site,” he said. “Between 2012-2016, upper unit monitoring wells generally have decreasing sodium and chloride trends. Lower unit monitoring wells generally have unchanged sodium and chloride levels. Road allowance salinity concentrations have slight increasing trends.”
Baird adds, “Salinity levels in Sawridge lands have a definitive decreasing trend and a retraction in the offsite salinity plume has been observed.”
For 2017, Baird told council that soil monitoring in Sawridge lands will be happening.
“We already started that about a month ago,” he said. “Monthly gypsum soil amendments in the Sawridge lands, seasonal GWRS operation to continue recovering salt-impacted ground water and spring and fall ground water monitoring events to access groundwater conditions before and after GWRS operation.”
For risk management activities that go beyond 2017, Baird said the program is set to go until 2024.
“In 2018 the shallow soil remediation program will include gypsum treatment, soil monitoring and vegetation assessment,” he said. “From 2018-2019 we will be doing seasonal GWRS operation and from 2018-2024 we will be conducting annual groundwater monitoring. Next year (2018) we will finalize our risk management plan for Alberta Environment and Parks approval.”
Councillor Darrin Busk told Baird he’s pleased with the results and is looking forward to completing this.
“It’s nice to see this winding up,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of money and time on this.”
Mayor Tyler Warman echoed Busk and said he’s happy that things are looking up.
“I agree with councillor Busk,” he said. “It’s nice to see the money spent on this is working.”
For those who are wondering what in the world is this reporter talking about, here is some history on why this plan is in place.
“The site is an active Town maintenance yard that handles winter road salt and sand,” said Baird. “There was an asphalt storage pad constructed in 2004 which helped a little not a lot and then a salt storage quonset was constructed in 2016.”
Baird added, “A previous consultant conducted environmental site assessments from 2004-2009, and Alberta Environment and Parks recommended additional assessment and requested a remedial plan or risk management plan in 2009.”
According to Baird, the impacts on the local environment were as followed, “salt from historical pickled sand storage had infiltrated into underlying soils and offsite salinity impacts were observed in the soil and groundwater in Sawridge lands.”