The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant is getting $20 million in federal-provincial funding for electric upgrades.
The plant which feeds both the cities of Moose Jaw and Regina with their water is outdated and requires a major overhaul.
“There’s options either to physically build a brand new plant or to simply change what’s there already, just upgrade the existing facility itself,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said.
Before that decision is made, Tuesday’s announcement provided funding to improve the electrical system supporting the plant. That includes replacing the aging electrical substation, power supply and upgrades to the raw water pumps to prevent future electrical failures.
Fougere called the upgrades “critical” adding redundancies to make the plant more reliable.
“We’ve had a couple of incidents over the past four or five years where we’ve been shown we’re vulnerable to have a problem,” Fougere said.
The mayor called the electrical issue the most urgent matter adding these upgrades will fit in with the future rebuild or major overhaul. He estimated those options could cost anywhere from $150M to $250M depending the design and which route is taken.
Fougere said the federal and provincial governments can expect to receive an application for funding outside of Tuesday’s electrical upgrades for future improvements to the plant.
The total cost of the electrical upgrades is $32.1M with the remaining $12M funding by the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation, which is owned by the cities of Regina and Moose Jaw.