Revamped Mandaumin Reservoir celebrates grand re-opening
From left: Manny Baron, Mike Thompson, Tom Montgomery, Todd Hodgins, Kathryn McGarry, John McCharles, Bob Bailey and Dale LeBritton make a toast at the grand opening of the new Mandaumin Reservoir. Melissa Schilz/The Topic
Government officials and residents celebrated the grand opening of the Mandaumin Reservoir Friday, a multi-million dollar project which saw a complete overhaul of the reservoir and pump station that supplies water to residents of Petrolia, Enniskillen, Dawn-Euphemia and Oil Springs.
Those in attendance included the Hon. Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, MPP Bob Bailey and Mayor John McCharles of Petrolia. Officials capped off their speeches by enjoying a glass of water poured straight from the reservoir.
The two glass fused bolted steel water storage tanks replaced the single concrete reservoir that had stood there for over 50 years prior to its demolition. Works began in May of 2016, and they were officially in service at the end of December.
The Town of Petrolia had initially set a budget of about $2.6 million, but Chief Administrative Officer Manny Baron said after some upcoming landscaping costs, the final price tag of the project will be closer to $3.2 million. A major portion of that was paid with a $2 million grant from the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund. Petrolia is one of 190 communities who have received funding through OCIF.
McGarry said communities across Ontario rely on critical infrastructure like water tanks, but the cost of keeping them in working order can make it a challenge for municipalities.
“I’m proud to serve in a government that’s doing something to address this need by helping municipalities and communities repair or replace essential infrastructure in this province,” she said during the ceremony. “OCIF is part of this commitment.”
She said the provincial government is planning to triple funding available for the program by 2019, which allows towns to revitalize critical infrastructure.
Each tank is 3500 cubic metres and were designed to blend into the rural landscape. The materials used are meant to reduce costs associated with maintenance, and the tanks can be raised and expanded in volume in future years if population and water demands increase.
Having two tanks instead of just one will create added security to the water supply system, allowing the town to take one offline for maintenance or inspection.
Todd Hodgins, Vice President of K & L construction, said the life span of the glass lined tanks are longer than those made of concrete, potentially lasting between 50 and 75 years so long as proper maintenance is kept up.
“It’s a much lower cost for maintenance,” he said. “You always have concerns with the concrete quality and how the chlorine and water and everything interacts with that…this is glass fused so it’s just like a big drinking glass.”
Tom Montgomery, Regional Vice President of CIMA + Engineering, said discussions had begun about a decade ago in regards to repairing the reservoir. After the town completed a study in 2011, they had planned to keep the old reservoir and construct a second storage tank beside it. When they inspected it again in 2014, a number of issues were found and it was decided they would start from the ground up.
“The concrete inside the tank had delaminated, we had some serious concerns with regards to the integrity of that tank,” Montgomery said.
McGarry said the government’s aim through infrastructure investment is to make communities safer, healthier and stronger.
“Our government recently opened a 2017 OCIF top up application for funding, and I encourage all eligible municipalities to apply,” she said. “I know that some of the most important infrastructure announcements that I’ve been at across Southwestern Ontario in the past three years has been projects like this, projects that bring water into the communities.”