The City of Medicine Hat’s Water Treatment Plant recently completed an expansion to meet water demand for a total service population of 75,000 customers. Current capacity is rated at 180 ML (180 million liters)per day. Future upgrades are planned in 2014 to include a treatment facility for process wastes generated during the water treatment process. This upgrade is essential for the long term protection of the South Saskatchewan River.
During winter months, the average plant effluent is in the range of 29 million litres per day. During summer months, this will increase to 85-120 million litres per day. The primary reason – residential irrigation. Essentially water demand in Medicine Hat becomes a function of ambient outdoor temperature and precipitation.
The City of Medicine Hat’s source of raw water is the South Saskatchewan River. Water quality in the river fluctuates on a seasonal basis, normally resulting in water quality parameters in the following ranges:
|| 1 to 3000 NTU
|| 7.6 to 8.8
| Total Hardness
|| 130 to 270 mg/3 (7.6 to 15.8 grains)
|| 120 to 240 mg/l
|| 2 to 32 oC
For information on typical potable water testing results, click here.
The South Saskatchewan River Basin includes the sub-basins of the Bow, Red Deer, Oldman and South Saskatchewan rivers. All of the basins begin in the Rocky Mountains, generally flowing eastward through foothills and prairies. The combined watershed of the basins is 121 095 km2, of which 41% is from the Red Deer sub-basin, 22% to the Oldman, 21% to the Bow and 16% to the South Saskatchewan. Major urban centers in the basin include Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer and Medicine Hat.
The City of Medicine Hat currently diverts water from the South Saskatchewan River through 13 separate Diversion Licenses regulated by Alberta Environment. These 13 licenses comprise approximately 57% of total allowable diversions on the South Saskatchewan River Mainstem. The South Saskatchewan River is currently closed to any new diversion projects.
South Saskatchewan River Basin Watershed