Aging berms cause leakage at Stettler lagoons

Changing directions won’t sink the ship was the message from Mayor Dick Richards at the Stettler Town council meeting on Feb. 16.

Richards was referring to diverting funds designated for the 51st Avenue sanitary and water projects toward emergency repairs of sewage lagoon berms.

According to Director of Operational Services Melissa Robbins, who attended the meeting, Lagoon Cell 6 was found to be seeping effluent into Red Willow Creek.

Upon inspection, effluent was discovered seeping through the berm. The clay liner, which dates to the 1960s, has eroded in spots and now has sandy seams allowing the water to escape.

Alberta Environment was notified of the breach and is working with Stettler to approve a remediation plan.
In the meantime, lower water levels in both Lagoon Cell 5 and 6 has minimized pressure on the berms and stopped the leakage.

“We take this for what it is: an example of aging infrastructure,” commented Richards, “We can reprioritize. It doesn’t sink a community like this because we’re prepared.”

Robbins estimates the repairs to the berm will cost around $1 million, which will come from the redirected 51st Avenue funds. Those projects will be postponed until next year.

Park project approved
The Downtown Pioneer Park Mural project got the go ahead from council. Dave’s Woodcraft of Stettler will construct the 3D historical storefront façade that will cover the concrete brick wall that faces 50th Avenue. The project will cost $24,880.

Coun. Will Brown brought three suggestions from the Downtown Park Committee to council for buildings that could best represent Stettler’s history.

Jimmy’s Hardware, The Stettler Cigar Factory and the Stettler Train Station were chosen for the façade. Jimmy’s operated in Stettler in the 1960s and 70s, the Cigar Factory from 1912 to 1916 and the train station represents Stettler’s historical and current connection to the railway.

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