Client:  Shawanaga First Nation
Project Description:  Water Treatment Plant Assessment

Time Line:  October 2011 to Present
Project Manager: Cathy Zheng

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

In 2003, the Shawanaga First Nation Water Treatment Plant was identified to require various upgrades in order to meet existing health and safety standards. However, before these upgrades could be completed, the community faced another water issue, as both of the main supply wells in the community went dry. The community then began trucking in water from Parry Sound and was required to enact a boil-water advisory.

S. Burnett and Associates Limited recently completed a Water Treatment Plant Assessment for Shawanaga First Nation.  The purpose of this assessment was to ultimately determine an appropriate solution to the emergency water crisis that the community has been struggling with for close to six years.

As part of this assessment, SBA evaluated the appropriateness of sourcing surface water as an alternative to the problematic groundwater sources.  The community’s current water treatment facility was only able to provide water treatment in the form of disinfection, which was able to adequately treat their groundwater sources. However, surface water treatment requires filtration processes that go beyond primary disinfection. It was therefore determined that the community would require a new treatment plant equipped with filtration technology in order for the community to secure surface water as their future water supply.

The Shawanaga First Nation was then presented an opportunity to acquire a conventional gravity water treatment plant that had recently been decommissioned and abandoned. This conventional gravity water treatment plant was in good condition and utilized disinfection, coagulation, flocculation, clarification and filtration within its treatment process. As part of the community’s water treatment alternatives analysis, SBA evaluated the feasibility of moving this treatment facility into the community, which included the costing associated with uninstalling, transporting and re-commissioning the plant.

After a comprehensive review of the information made available through various studies, operation manuals, design drawings and site visits to both the existing water treatment plant and the conventional gravity treatment plant, SBA was able to provide recommendations for the community’s short term and long term water treatment. For the short term SBA recommended that the existing water treatment plant be upgraded to treat the groundwater from the new well located north of the community. In the long term, SBA affirmed that using surface water would provide a water supply that could sustain the community for many years to come, and proposed potential locations for the placement of the conventional gravity treatment plant on the premise that it would be transported to the community in spring 2012.  SBA is looking forward to the next stages of this project and is thrilled that the community will finally having a sustainable and safe water supply.