Nanton town council is looking into ways to improve the water quality that residents get from taps in their homes.

Mayor Jennifer Handley says they are addressing several issues, but the big one is the reservoir hasn't been cleaned out since it was built and it is now almost 60 percent full of sludge.

"The reservoir was put in the early eighties and it has never been cleaned out," said Handley. "Alberta Environment has said proper procedure moving forward, once we emptied it out, would be of course to have a five or six year plan to keep the reservoir clear."

Council had three representatives from Alberta Environment and Parks representatives Kathleen Murphy, approvals manager, Chad Moore drinking water specialist and operations and Jeffery Wu, municipal approvals engineer, to speak about municipal wells and water allocation at a November meeting.

They said once the sludge is clear then the Town can start to mix spring water into the creek water, which should improve the taste of the water.

"They said that should absolutely increase the quality of the water," said Handley.

It is going to be expensive to clear the sludge though.

"The first approach is to look for grants. The tough thing is there are no grants for taste and odour and there typically are no grants for maintenance, and this would fall under maintenance. I know that administration is looking at all options when it comes to funding."

At the meeting the Representatives discussed the Town of Nanton’s best options for improving its water quality and quantity and found:

The current water treatment plant operational challenges are being addressed to optimize the processes with the assistance of Chad Moore.

Optimizing the spring and creek sources should be a sufficient supply for Nanton into the future.

This water basin is currently closed to new surface water allocations, with only true ground water sources being permitted.

Use of the Jackson Well may not be a suitable option as the allocation was only 15 acre/ft with inconsistent volumes in the past (allocation license may have been cancelled).

Blending of sources is not efficient at the Plant due to inconsistencies.

The potential for more volume in Mosquito Creek from Women’s Coulee may be a possibility - will conduct further research.

Potential for transfer of licenses no longer utilized is a possibility.

Cleaning of the reservoirs will increase the storage capacity and potentially reduce the taste and odour issues with the amount of sludge present

Suggested a regular cleaning schedule of five to six years for the reservoirs (based on similar sized communities) and regular line flushing to facilitate the consistency of the water, with a dedicated revenue source for the maintenance of the water operations.

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