On Wednesday morning the grand opening of the Arthur Ayoungman Water Treatment Plan was unveiled with the cut of a ribbon.

The much-needed expansion will allow for more water to be cleaned and processed for the use and consumption of a growing Siksika Nation.

Richard Sparvier, Siksika Nation Tribal Manager, explains that clean drinking water isn't just a convenience, it's a fundamental right.

"Upgrading our current infrastructure isn't just about fixing pipes; it's about investing in our health, resilience, and the preservation of our traditions."

Sparvier then goes on to say that clean water is a necessity for our well-being and the well-being of generations to come.

The upgrades also include expanding the building to accommodate a new greensand treatment system, expanding the reservoir, installing a standby generator, and upgrading the pumping and control systems.

In 2022, Siksika Nation contracted Sim-Flo Systems Inc. to prepare the construction tender package, conduct the detailed design, and manage the project's construction. And a little later in March, CDM Mechanical Ltd. was awarded the contract as prime contractor through a public tender process.

The upgrades cost $9.4 million to complete. The project was funded through grants from the Alberta Community Resilience Program (ACRP) for $508,000, the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) for $1,575,000, contributions from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) for $6.8M, and Siksika Nation (SN) for $541,000.

The Chief Operating Officer for Siksika Nation Tribal Administration, Van Le, thanked everyone for making the project a reality and expressed his gratitude. 

"We worked tirelessly on this project and are pleased to see it through to completion. Our ultimate objective for the Siksika Nation Tribal Administration is to provide long-term solutions for our service delivery needs."

Siksika Nation Public Works Associate Manager Lyle Breaker says the tanks can hold water for up to three and a half days.

"This gives us adequate fire suppression storage and adequate sustainability." 

Breaker explains that the plant is a much more resilient and robust system that is now equipped with everything needed. 

"Multiple other fixes were made, such as the hot water tank, new furnace exhaust fan, water monitoring instrumentation, and a new epoxy floor to improve its longevity."

Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities Sean Frase said this project shows community spirit. 

"I am incredibly proud that we were able to support the Siksika Nation on this project, and we will keep backing projects like this that make lives better for communities from coast to coast." 

Approximately 592 homes and 2,960 residents are currently serviced by the Arthur Ayoungman Water Treatment Plant.

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