Photo by Sean Emmett

While Tervita works to remediate the 400-plus homes in High River before its September 30th goal, the company is also up against another deadline.

Other than remediation, Tervita was also faced with the task of scalping the banks of the Highwood River to remove built up debris and silt, increasing the river's flow.

According to Tervita's VP of Marketing Jeff Gaulin, they're a bit behind schedule but still happy with progress.

He says "it's just a matter of  organizing our equipment and access to the site by surrounding homeowners. We had expected to have all the scalping done by mid-September and except for this one (last) bar, we are on track for that."

Gaulin adds while the scalping will increase flow of the Highwood, it barely scratches the surface of the work needed to be done to prevent another disaster.

He says "the scalping has been short term, it's not a long term solution for the river but it does provide a degree of comfort that the flow of the river is manageable and that the material removed can be used as part of the rebuilding of the community."

As Gaulin said, the gravel and rock removed by the river will be saved and used for various construction projects, including future flood mitigation.

It's been a busy summer for Tervita, who have been charged with a large scope of work to aid in the rebuilding of High River and Gaulin credits High Riverites for their understanding through it all.

He says "we really want to thank the residents of High River, they've been very cooperative and patient with us as we've come to town to do a lot of tasks, the primary ones being home remediation and the river scalping. We look forward to completing phase one and getting the town back to a spot where it can have a foundation to rebuild and if we could play a part in that rebuild, we would be very pleased to do so."

Gaulin predicts Tervita will have the last area of the river scalped by the end of September.