By Andrea Arnold
The Village of McBride has received $2,608,125 from the Canada Community Building Fund and the Government of Canada for a custom-designed drinking water filtration system. The funding is a part of more that $103.5 million that is being federally invested to support 45 community infrastructure projects.

“Currently there is a pre-treatment system in place by way of the settling tanks,” said Radloff engineer David Franzmann. “The pretreatment deals with large particles, and muddy water.”

Adding a filtration system will ensure consistent turbidity and water quality with the ultimate goal of eliminating the need for boil water advisories for the community. With the current system, McBride residents expect a boil water advisory to be put into place at least once annually. There is no way of knowing how long each of these advisories will be in place, inconveniencing both businesses and households.

Franzmann explained that the project is in its early stages. They need to monitor the water and run tests to see what design will be the most effective for the system. They recently tested the water, and will test again when freshet happens and the water turbidity changes. Franzmann said that they have been working with different methods of filtration during this testing period.

They hope to have this step completed by early summer. Once testing is finished, the design planning can begin. The Village also plans to begin the tendering process so they can keep momentum going, as they aim to start construction next year. The grant requires that the project be completed by March 2025.

Through this whole process, residents and businesses should not see much, if any, change in their water services. When the time comes for the system to be connected to the existing one, there may be a short interruption. During that time, there will also likely be water restrictions in place so that the reservoir lasts the duration of the connection process.

“The goal is to improve water quality for residents and businesses,” said Franzmann. “The system will not be adding anything to the water, it will be removing color and turbidity to improve the water quality.”

The new system may also result in less chlorine being needed to maintain Northern Health mandated standards.