Cherry Grove residents could be the next community to receive Cold Lake water.
In an M.D. of Bonnyville council meeting on June 10, a proposal to extend a waterline to Cherry Grove was brought up, which would provide the hamlet with benefits beyond clean drinking water.
The line would be an extension off the 10 inch potable water line from Cold Lake to Ardmore, and would increase property value across the community, the M.D. believes.
“We’re going to conduct a study which we’re hoping will give us some options on what we can do, how we should do it, and once it’s finished we’ll see where we stand,” said M.D. councillor Ben Fadeyiw who represents the area.
Residents in Cherry Grove currently get their water from individual wells and cisterns, which has created varying qualities of water in the community.
Many residents travel to Cold Lake for clean water on a regular basis.
“If water from a farmland runs off into a well, there’s the possibility of getting things like arsenic and bacteria in the water,” said Fadeyiw. “I’ve been to homes where the water is excellent, and then across the road their neighbour’s water is just terrible.”
Currently, the M.D. is looking into grants that would help offset the cost of the line–roughly 80 per cent of the regional waterline from Cold Lake and Bonnyville was funded through federal and provincial grants, for example.
Fadeyiw is optimistic that finding additional money for the project won’t be too much of a problem thanks to the abundance of Water for Life grants.
Waterlines in a similar design for La Corey and Therien also came up, though Cherry Grove has priority due to it’s population.
In the last census, there were around 405 living in the community, making it the most populous hamlet in the M.D.
The overall water distribution across the M.D. is a prime concern for councillors.
“Cherry Grove is getting our attention at the moment, but in the future, we want to look at how we can get clean water to all our residents,” said Fadeyiw.
“It’s something that’s very important to me.”
The regional waterline project extending Cold Lake water to Bonnyville is projected to be online in the fall.
“The cold lake water is still on its way at some point in time,” said Bonnyville Mayor Gene Sobolewski on The Morning After last week.
“The intake screens are I think scheduled for the first part of August and that’s a critical component on that system because that’s how we draw water in to treat it for Bonnyville. So we keep our fingers crossed. The pipe along the route is being tested as we speak.
“I think there’s one section left under the river [Beaver River] to pressure test, and there’ll be disinfecting and chlorinating and things like that. But it’s the water treatment plant I’ve always maintained that once that’s up and running, then we can shoot water over here.”
To hear council discuss the waterline, start the video below at 2:30:20