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Testing Site - New Water Supply

September 19, 2016

The Town of Niverville needs a new source of water to meet the demands of a growing community.
Six sections of land east of Highway 59 near the Highway 311 intersection have been identified as a target study area for a new water system.

To ensure that community interests and concerns are considered as part of the planning process, a public open house will take place Sept. 22 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Niverville Heritage Centre. Invitations to the Open House have been mailed to all residents.
“We want to find out about any concerns and try to address them before starting field testing,” says Donovan Toews of Landmark Planning and Design, a Winnipeg based company that is working on this project with the Town, Province and Jeff Bell of Friesen Drilling.
“Water is a provincial resource and a new well requires a provincial license,” explains Toews. “We want everyone to know that construction won’t begin until all conditions have been met.”
The water aquifer directly beneath the Town and aquifers closer to the Red River have more naturally occurring sediments and salinity than aquifers further east of the Red River. Although the water supply is adequate, the Town’s water filtration system that provides the highest quality of water cannot deal with the fine particles in the water.
“Every time the pump starts and stops it increases the turbulence in the water and kicks up the sand,” explains Toews. “There is only one solution and that is to locate a new water supply east of Niverville where wells are solidly in the fresh water area.”
Before submitting an application for a license, Friesen Drillers will dig a test well in the target study area and test it for three days to assess the potential effects on existing wells and aquifer sustainability.
“Science already suggests that there is a good water supply but extra due diligence will ensure that there aren’t any negative consequences,” says Toews.
During the summer months, Toews and Bell met with the rural municipalities of Hanover and Ritchot, various fire departments and regulatory agencies, Niverville Chamber of Commerce and local businesses. They also met and continue to meet with landowners in the study area.
The Town of Niverville’s Finance Manager, Eric King, says a new water supply from an aquifer east of Niverville is the most cost effective option.
Estimated costs of a new water supply system from study through to construction are $2.5 million. The costs would be shared equally between the Town and the Province. King says if federal government grants become available and a license is granted, the Town will apply for this funding assistance.
The estimated cost includes the $850,000 expenditure that has been approved for identifying a target study site, field testing and consultations. King says the Town is paying for its share of this expenditure with funds from the operating budget and reserves.
An additional $1.7 million would be needed to dig the well, construct the nine-kilometre pipeline and provide other infrastructure.
Field testing and consultation are expected to be completed next summer. Construction could begin towards the end of 2017 if all requirements for the licensing process have been met.