Prairie Echo waterline pegged at $7.6 million

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A waterline and truck fill for the Prairie Echo area has been estimated at $7.6 million.

At its regular meeting May 9, Big Lakes County council was updated on the project by WSP Canada Inc.

“We recommend a six-inch line from Grouard to Prairie Echo at a cost of $7,660,801,” says project manager Josh Warkentin.

A second phase from Prairie Echo to High Prairie is estimated at $6,857,311.

He says the alignment for Phase 1 has the least amount of impact and is the option preferred by Alberta Environment and Parks.

Although council made no decision on the project during the meeting, Warkentin advised preliminary work proceed before summer.

“It will take about one year to get all the approvals we need,” Warkentin says.

“We need to complete assessments. . .in early June, we need to get started on field assessments.”

When the project was first discussed at council’s regular meeting Sept. 23, 2017, CAO Roy Brideau estimated the cost at $6 million, and take several years to build.

“We would approach government to request grants,” Prairie Echo – Salt Prairie Councillor Dave Marx said at the time.

A waterline to Prairie Echo is part of the county’s proposed future regional water system. Prairie Echo is not served by potable water.

“One potential route would be to follow provincial highways, but Alberta Transportation typically does not allow for the installation of utilities within the right-of-way,” Brideau says.

Engineering would also include options to provide water to First Nations communities.

Brideau suggests one alternative could include building a stand-alone water treatment plant, which would not offer the operational benefits of a waterline.

An open house during the design stage would be required to discuss plans.


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