With the clink of glasses filled with the best water east of the Rockies, local community leaders toasted the official commissioning of the Town of Amherst’s new water reservoir on July 23.
"This is a great day for our community,” Amherst Mayor David Kogon said. “This new reservoir has increased the water pressure in areas of the town that previously experienced low water pressure while also improving the fire flows throughout the town. The two tanks that make up the reservoir ensure the town will have adequate water storage for the foreseeable future.”
The mayor noted the $5.5-million project couldn’t have been accomplished without the participation of the federal and provincial governments, which through the joint federal-provincial Clean Water and Wastewater Fund provided 75 per cent of the funding.
“Without this strategic investment in the town’s infrastructure by these senior levels of government, this project would not have been undertaken,” Kogon said.
“Modern and reliable water treatment infrastructure is essential to maintaining a clean environment and a livable community," Cumberland-Colchester MP Bill Casey, sent an email on behalf of Infrastructure and Communities Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne. “The Government of Canada is proud to support improvements to the Amherst reservoir and storage tank, providing residents of Amherst with better water pressure and reliable municipal services for years to come.”
The province was unable to send a representative to the ceremony, but Municipal Affairs Minister Chuck Porter said in an email to the town: “Municipal infrastructure, like water and wastewater systems, are critical to the health and safety of Nova Scotians and to the economic development in our communities. We are pleased to work in partnership with the federal government and our municipalities to invest in important infrastructure projects that will ensure healthy, vibrant communities in Nova Scotia.”
The project was approved by Amherst town council in June 2017 and work began two months later.
The new reservoir features two porcelain-lined steel tanks that stand 15 metres higher than the 43-year-old concrete tank they replaced. Combined, the new tanks hold 13 million litres of water, the same amount as the old tank, which was nearing the end of its useful life, held.
The height of the new tanks enabled the town to improve the water levels in the higher-elevations of the community.
Besides the construction of the water towers, the project included the installation of four pressure reducing valve chambers in four strategic locations – MacDonald Road, Robert Angus Drive and Willow and Church streets – as well as modifications to the pumps at the Tyndal wellfield.
The new reservoir was designed by CBCL Ltd., The project’s main contractor was Maritech Construction Inc., a local firm, and major subcontractors included Beale & Inch Construction Ltd. and Greatario Engineered Storage Systems Ltd.
Kogon praised the designer and contractors saying, “they all did a superb job.”
The second phase of the original $7.7-million project is about to start. Work includes replacing an existing undersized water main on Willow Street, which will also help to increase fire flows in Amherst’s downtown core.