City looks for spray irrigation motor control replacement

The city was looking to address vulnerability it found in its current Motor Control Center for the Irrigation Pump Station.

The city was looking to address vulnerability it found in its current Motor Control Center for the Irrigation Pump Station. The engineering department was looking for up to $70,000 to spend on a design so construction can start this winter season on replacement.

“The intent would be to try to include it in grant applications from Build Canada,” Mayor Wayne Stetski said at Monday’s council meeting.

CAO Wayne Staudt said the city may already be in a situation where waiting for the fund to get up and running is not an option.

He also noted the city is below the $2 million threshold for the fund.

“We need to move quickly on it,” Staudt said about the project. “We may have to borrow this money and get this project done.”

Staudt noted that it is a sensitive project and without it they can’t operate the spray irrigation field without the system in place.

Over the summer, a fire and a large failure occurred inside the centre at the Spray Irrigation Facility. The centre continued to operate after the fire, however the department sees a catastrophic failure in the near future.

The centre is also obsolete and replacement parts are no longer available.

“The parts for total replacement are long lead items which can take up to six months to arrive and install,” the city’s report said. “With a long wait time on total replacement, the city cannot wait for the MCC (motor control center) to fail before replacement.”

The department noted that if the unit failed during the summer spray season, which is the only time the centre operates, it could overtop storage ponds 1 and 2, since the city would no longer be able to remove treated water and meet obligations to keep pond 2 at 824 meters.

The total cost of replacement is estimated at $560,000.

The centre would take four months for delivery with additional two months for installation.

The irrigation season starts May 1.

If all of the timelines are met, the engineering department predicts the installation could be complete the beginning of April with a few weeks contingency left before the irrigation season in May.

They warn that if the city doesn’t replace the center and a catastrophic failure occurs at the beginning of the irrigation season, the city would be in an emergency situation having to find a method to remove 3 million cubic meters of treated water from Storage Ponds 1 and 2 over the summer months.

Council voted in favour of the recommendation to authorize city staff to spend up to $70,000 on the design.

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