The Mountaineer - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
© 2007 The Mountaineer Publishing Company Limited.


Cold snap affecting water treatment facility
By Tyler Klinkhammer
Staff Reporter

The Town of Rocky Mountain House has issued the following advisory to residents:
“Due to extreme cold, the water treatment plant is seeing extensive frazil ice build-up in its lower lift pump house. This ice is blocking intake lines from the river, reducing the plant’s overall capacity.”
Frazil ice is soft or amorphous ice, formed by the accumulation of ice crystals in water that is too turbulent to freeze solid.
The facility keeps about 4,000 cubic metres of treated water in storage. Due to the ice blockages, the treatment plant is not able to replenish the stores as quickly as normal, causing water storages to gradually decrease.
“We’re asking for the public’s support in reducing water use until we get through this deep freeze,” said Marco Schoeninger, director of engineering and operations.
Residents and businesses are being asked to conserve water for the next two to three days until milder temperatures return.
The bulk water filling station is also being closed until further notice.
Water treatment plant operators, with support from the department of engineering and operations, are working diligently to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. The Town’s portable steamer is in use to try to thaw the ice and an additional steam unit has been ordered.
The town will issue an advisory when normal operations resume.