Steinbach city councillor Michael Zwaagstra says a situation in Swan River in late January has caused him to reflect on the reliability of the water supply system in this city. Swan River's water supply was down to a trickle for almost a week at the end of January due to multiple mechanical issues with the pumps at the water treatment plant. Zwaagstra put the question to Chief Administrative Officer Troy Warkentin this week.
"We've all followed in the news what's happened in Swan River and it's frankly very surprising to see a situation of a town of about 4,000 people nearly run out of water. That is obviously amajor problem and I guess my question is; How are we making sure that we don't end up in that situation?"
Warkentin says while there are no guarantees, Steinbach makes sure to hire well-qualified and competent staff who anticipate potential problems.
"We make sure that we have well qualified and competent staff who are able to understand what the potential issues are, who are able to think in advance or take a forward-looking view to what could be potential issues that the city might face. And, thankfully, council has been very astute in awarding funding so that the city can undertake these maintenance and expansion projects so that the city is ensured of a reliable and safe water supply among many other things."
Warkentin adds the city will improve its water supply system this year with the construction of a second water supply and treatment plant at a cost of about $11 million.
"This expansion of the system will provide some redundancy and certainly capacity with the addition of up to another three wells over the long term."