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The bitter cold weather in recent weeks has slowed a massive water project in Landmark.

Christine Hutlet is Chief Administrative Officer for the Rural Municipality of Tache. She explains crews are currently constructing a water treatment plant and distribution system that will allow for increased regulatory requirements and increased capacities. It will also pave the way for additional housing in that community. One of the significant changes will be the addition of fire hydrants to improve fire protection for Landmark.

According to Hutlet, construction of the water treatment plant is about 25 per cent complete. As for the distribution system, majority of the underground work for the fire hydrants should be complete within the next four weeks. The final hookups will then take place in fall.

Hutlet says the cost of the entire project will be approximately $12 million. About three-quarters of that is coming from the provincial and federal governments. All work is expected to be completed by the end of October.

As mentioned, there has been a bit of a slowdown because of the harsh weather, particularly with the distribution. Hutlet says companies prefer to push pipes while it is cold and the ground is frozen. Yet, she says when the temperatures dip below -35 degrees, it becomes unsafe for workers to be outdoors.

"We've probably missed I would say probably about six to eight days over the last few weeks due to weather," she says.

Meanwhile, residents of Landmark may have noticed their water has recently been a yellowish colour. Hutlet explains the system is being shut down in sections. Then, once it is re-pressurized, it causes mineral movement from the sides of the pipe, which can result in the water turning yellow.

"The water quality is still maintained and we're testing continuously for that," she says. "They might see slight changes but nothing on a safety issue."

Hutlet adds residents may also notice some water service disruptions.

According to Hutlet, this project should kickstart housing activity in Landmark. She expects permits will be taken out almost as the plant goes in.

"The only thing is that they can't tie into the water until the water treatment plant is up and running," she explains. "But we are working currently on getting development areas underway right as we speak."

Hutlet says there should be new homes popping up in Landmark by spring of 2020.

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