Flood money to help ease Black Diamond's water woes

Black Diamond is getting a new underground water pipe following flood damage to the town's treatment plant.

Disaster relief funding will help pay for a new regional water treatment system

Black Diamond is getting a new water pipe after June flooding damaged the town's water treatment facility. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Black Diamond is getting a new underground water pipe following flood damage to the town's treatment plant.

The province announced plans Monday to build a pipe for shipping water from the Turner Valley water treatment plant to the neighbouring foothills town of Black Diamond. 

It will replace a temporary, above-ground pipe that was installed in the days after June flooding destroyed the local water treatment plant.

"Before June 20, most of us took for granted that when we turned on our tap, we could pour a glass of water and take a drink," said Kyle Fawcett, Alberta's associate minister of recovery and reconstruction.

"Then all of that changed."

The new pipe will be 10 inches in diameter, while the temporary pipe was four inches in diameter, leading to water restrictions and low-water pressure.

The flood damage has also pushed ahead plans for a regional water treatment system as a long-term solution to serve Turner Valley and Black Diamond, and eventually residents of Longview and the Municipal District of Foothills.

Disaster relief funding will help pay for the regional system, according to the province.

"We are very pleased to see the province act so quickly to get a temporary system in place so that our residents can access adequate, clean [and] safe drinking water," said Black Diamond Mayor Sharlene Brown in a release.

Town officials are urging residents to continue to conserve water. Brown says the car wash is not open and they are asking people to not water their lawns.

"Water remains a critical part of our recovery situation, and residents are reminded to exercise good water conservation.  Every litre saved extends the life of the water supply, and allows work to continue to ensure safe, secure water can be provided to both Black Diamond and Turner Valley," says a message on the town's website.

Officials hope the new regional water treatment plant on the Sheep River will be a permanent water source for the community of Black Diamond by this fall.