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Elevated E. Coli Levels at Vancouver Beaches

Posted on July 21, 2014
Officials in British Columbia are warning people not to swim at three West Vancouver beaches after water quality sampling revealed elevated E. coli levels. The 2012 Canadian Recreational Water Quality Guidelines recommend a level of less than 200 E. coli bacteria per 100 millilitres of water for primary contact activities like swimming. Vancouver Coastal Health’s July 17 Beach Water Quality report shows elevated levels for Ambleside, Dundarave, and Sandy Cove beaches, resulting in “No Swimming” advisories. No source of the contamination has yet been identified, but Vancouver Coastal Health is consulting with the District [...]

Regina Finalizes Agreement with Treatment Plant Contractor

Posted on July 15, 2014
The City of Regina has finalized an agreement with EPCOR Water Prairies Inc. to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain its new sewage treatment plant for 30 years. Funding for the project was subject to lengthy public debate, and a public-private partnership was eventually decided upon after a city-wide referendum in September 2013. While the city had originally budgeted $224.5 million for construction of the plant, the agreement between EPCOR and Regina has pegged construction costs at $181 million and 30-year costs at $611 million, down from the $858 million originally projected. The P3 Canada Fund will provide up to 25 per [...]

B.C. Releases Fraser River Flood Risk Reports

Posted on July 14, 2014
The Government of British Columbia released two reports concerning flood risk along the Fraser River on July 11. The reports can be used to support flood risk management,floodplain development, and dike upgrade planning. The first report, Fraser River Design Flood Level Update–Hope to Mission, compares design flood levels with crest levels for 15 dikes in the Hope to Mission reach. Many of the dikes in question were built in the 1970s and 1980s, and were designed to cope with the largest flood flow on record from 1894. The investigation found that, despite some upgrades since their construction, all but one of the 15 dikes is too [...]

Raw Sewage Discharge Discovered near Calgary

Posted on July 7, 2014
The discharge point is about 500 metres from the Elbow River, a drinking water source for the City of Calgary. Credit: James Teterenko. A CBC investigation has discovered that untreated sewage from Redwood Meadows, Alberta, is being discharged directly onto a forest floor on Tsuu T’ina First Nations territory. The discharge point is about 500 metres from the Elbow River, a drinking water source for the City of Calgary. The First Nations is responsible for transporting pipe sewage from Redwood Meadows to a sewer lagoon on its territory. Benchmark Labs was hired by the CBC to collect and test samples of the discharged water, and [...]

Brandon to Enhance Flood Protection Infrastructure

Posted on July 3, 2014
The City of Brandon, Manitoba, will receive federal and provincial funding to enhance its flood protection system after the Red River Floodway Expansion Project came in $38 million under budget. Both the provincial and federal government will contribute $12.25 million to the project and the City will add a further $2.5 million, for a total project cost of approximately $27 million. “Completing the floodway expansion on time and under budget has allowed us to invest the savings in permanent protection for families, businesses, and Brandon’s economy against more frequent and severe flooding on the Assiniboine River,” said Drew [...]

Saskatchewan Flooding “Unprecedented”: Premier

Posted on July 3, 2014
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall. According to Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, this year's flooding in the province will be worse than the flooding in 2011, which caused $360 million in damage. Roads and culverts have been washed out, basements and cropland flooded, and 53 communities are still coping with local state of emergencies. Much of the flooding occurred when the province's southeast received between 100 and 200 millimetres of rain over the Canada Day weekend. The premier called the rainstorm and flooding “remarkable and in some respects ...unprecedented” when speaking to reporters. He also explained that the [...]

Manitoba Expands Fight Against Zebra Mussels

Posted on June 23, 2014
Manitoba has completed a number of important steps in the fight against an influx of zebra mussels on Lake Winnipeg, and are set to expand monitoring and containment efforts over the summer. A cluster of zebra mussels. Credit: D. Jude, Univ. of Michigan. “We took the bold step to treat the four affected harbours this spring and those treatments went very well, but that was only the first step in the battle against zebra mussels,” said Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh. “Now it’s time for all lake users to join the fight and increase their vigilance to ensure we don’t give these intruders a certain [...]

British Columbia Funds Wastewater Professionals Training Study

Posted on June 12, 2014
The Province of British Columbia is providing $50,000 in funding to the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) to ensure consistent licensing standards and qualifications for workers installing septic sewage systems. The ASTTBC certifies all registered onsite wastewater practitioners in the province to assume responsibility for installed systems. Wastewater systems that are designed or installed by an unauthorized practitioner are illegal and are subject to severe penalties. Health Minister Terry Lake acknowledged the importance of proper installation of wastewater systems and the role that the additional [...]

Manitoba Unveils Massive Comprehensive Strategy for Surface Water Management

Posted on June 12, 2014
In an effort to protect the province’s water resources, Manitoba announced its first comprehensive Surface Water Management Strategy along with multi-year surface water management investments. Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh and Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton announced the strategy on June 11, noting that $320 million of the province’s $5.5-billion infrastructure plan has been earmarked for flood protection and water control infrastructure, in addition to $4 million that is to be invested in on-farm water retention projects over the next five years. "Manitoba faces three [...]

Alberta Grant Program to Protect Communities from Flooding

Posted on June 11, 2014
Alberta is taking steps to better prepare communities for potential drought and severe floods, such as the heavy rainfall that devastated Calgary and other parts of Alberta in 2013. The province has launched a new grant program to assist municipalities in protecting residents, property, and infrastructure in the event of drought or flooding. Municipalities, First Nations, and Metis settlements can apply to the Alberta Community Resilience Program for funding for projects that protect infrastructure (roads, public buildings, or wastewater systems), improve evacuation times, or enhance public safety. The grants, part of the province’s [...]
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