Client: Constance Lake First Nation
Project Description: Well Pump and Watermain Extension

Time Line: July 2010 to February 2011
Project Manager: Tom Darlow

Client Category: First Nation
Service Category: Water Supply, Treatment and Distribution

In July 2010 the water treatment system in the Constance First Nation community was no longer able to treat the water from Constance Lake due to an unexpected Blue-Green Algae bloom. This emergency situation caused the filters in the facility to clog, and the water that was being treated was not meeting Ontario drinking water standards. The community immediately started trucking water into the community from Hearst at a cost of over $3000 per day; however the community was required to stay on boil water advisory.

Once the emergency situation was encountered, the Community started looking for a new groundwater source to supplement and/or replace the trucked water and unusable surface source. Once this water source was identified, S. Burnett & Associates was retained to assist with the emergency situation. Time was of the essence given the fact that the community was without a safe potable supply and the cost of trucking water that still had to be boiled was enormous. SBA began designing the water main route and performing soils analysis and bedrock identification immediately upon award. The water treatment plant upgrades and well design was also completed in a timely fashion. This project required very detailed design work to incorporate both the surface water treatment and groundwater treatment in one facility; however, with SBA already very knowledgeable about the community’s systems and because many of the relationships were already established, a full design for the new system was completed in less than two months.

The operational plant now relies on the surface water for less than 50% of supply, which significantly reduces the variability in the water chemistry and improves the overall function of the water treatment plant. The water treatment plant was put back into operation in January 2011, and the well treatment system was commissioned in February 2011.

“Time was of the essence given the fact that the community was without a safe potable supply and the cost of trucking water was enormous. Thankfully, SBA’s full design for the new system was completed in less than two months.”