Administrators at the City of North Battleford hope water restrictions will be eased by the end of the month, but say the weather could spoil the target date.
Work continues on the first two wells in progress. At Monday's city council meeting, it was revealed pumps are not connected yet. Today, Aug. 19, city spokesperson Susanne Abe said work is ongoing with two more wells planned, but weather-related delays are creating uncertainty.
“Right now it depends on the weather. If that all falls into place and we don’t have a lot of thunderstorms anymore, then we can go forward with the drilling of the wells,” she said.
Even after the pumps are connected, the water must go through a testing process before it can be added to the system. The additional wells will mean the ground water treatment plant can be used to its full capacity, helping replace the portion of the water supply normally sourced from the North Saskatchewan River.
The city closed off the river water intake at the F.E. Holliday treatment plant in July, following the spill of up to 250,000 litres of blended crude into the water. The incident cut off a large portion of the normal water supply. A pipeline has since been constructed to supply the city with extra well water treated by the town of Battleford.
Initial water conservation measures included a ban on all outdoor water use, including watering lawns and gardens along with washing vehicles and buildings. Vegetable gardens can now be watered. Abe said if the city is able to ease other restrictions in late August, it may continue to withhold watering sports fields and parks. Abe said the main part of summer will be over by then.
Geoff Smith is battlefordsNOW's News Director, business and agriculture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @smithco.
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