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New water treatment plant in the works

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Plans to construct a water treatment plant in Headingley are one step closer to coming to fruition.

Members of the Cartier Regional Water Co-op Board passed a resolution on Aug. 15 approving, in principle, the construction of a new water treatment plant in the RM of Headingley, estimated to cost $44 million and provide 120 litres of water per second.

The board agreed the co-op will pay up to $3 million of the plant’s cost.

While the land for the new plant still has to be purchased, and provincial financing secured, Dave Shwaluk from the Manitoba Water Services Board said design work for the plant is expected to begin later this year, with the final plans approved in 2014.

This new plant will also meet the provincial government’s commitment to providing water for the portion of CentrePort that lies within the RM of Rosser, as water can be piped to a reservoir to serve businesses in that area.

This will solve the current problem of how to supply water to larger businesses which can’t depend solely on well water due to fire safety regulations. The City of Winnipeg can’t extend its water service to the area now because of an ongoing water dispute that could take years to resolve.

The Cartier Regional Water Co-op consists of representatives from the RMs of Portage la Prairie, Cartier, St. Francois Xavier, Headingley, Rosser and Rockwood. Co-op board secretary Robert Poirier said water is drawn from the Assiniboine River through the current plant at St. Eustache, and then flows along 900 kilometres of pipe to serve communities as far away as Fannystelle and Grosse Isle.

The demand for water within these municipalities is expected to increase by up to 40% in the next 20 years, meaning an extra 30 litres per second in capacity must be added. Poirier said, rather than expanding the current plant, it makes sense to get the additional capacity from the new plant, and it also offers the security of a secondary supply source.

"We need to satisfy our growth," he said.

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