The city of Estevan is looking at how they'd handle wastewater treatment should the Shand Power Station be closed.

Currently, the Shand Power Station takes all of the wastewater as part of its agreement, using that in its operation.

Should Shand be closed, another method of disposing of wastewater would need to be found.

The first step of that was to complete a downstream study, to figure out where the water could be released into the environment.

It was determined that Souris River was the only viable body of water, with the Water Security Agency offering strict guidelines on what could be released due to the river's flow.

With those in hand, the city then had a feasibility study done by Magna Engineering of what potential new systems or upgrades would be needed, with half the funds of that being covered by a Federation of Canadian Municipalities grant.

Some options did present themselves, with the one that would go with existing Saskatchewan rules being a Membrane Bioreactor which would cost $45,000,000 with double to triple the current operational cost of the system.

One alternative that was brought up was to utilize subsurface wetlands, with options that would include $35,000,000 for a system that is cheaper to operate and $17,000,000 for a system that costs more than the current one.  

The process has yet to be approved for use in Estevan, but it has been approved in other provinces like Alberta and B.C., with Mayor Ludwig stating that he'd talked with MLA Lori Carr about getting the issue to the legislature.

In order to get it approved, a pilot study would be needed to test the process in Saskatchewan, with the cost being $400,000, with some FCM grants being available for the project.

Jennifer Massig, owner and engineer with Magna, called into the council meeting to help explain the project to the gathered councillors.

After reiterating some of the facts around the proposal, she explained the timeline for the project, stating that their earliest projection to begin construction would be the summer of 2024.

After the presentation, the council proceeded with and passed a motion that they adopt a budget of $400,000 for the pilot and be supportive of the application for the FCM grant by Magna, as recommended by Water and Wastewater Services Manager Shane Bucsis.