Water & Wastewater Incident: Update #25

Town of Cochrane logo on a wood background

(Cochrane, AB) – Following the recent water and wastewater incident, Cochrane Administration will be moving forward with completing the syphon project as intended. Starting as early as next week (November 13), the municipal consultant (Urban Systems) and the contractor (Whissell Construction) will re-mobilize the necessary equipment and crews to complete this vital project. 

“While the investigation into the water / wastewater incident is ongoing, all parties are eager to continue with the project as tendered to minimize risk of project cost escalations and system failure,” said CAO Mike Derricott, Town of Cochrane. 

The scope of work for the syphon maintenance and twinning is a specialized field of work. Not proceeding with the project at this time could result in significant cost escalations, continued risk of the existing line failing, and potential legal risk.

Throughout the duration of the project, the community will continue to see a number of construction impacts, including: pedestrian pathway detours, partial parking lot closures of the Riverfront Park and Zero Gravity Skate Park and partial closure of Cochrane’s Disc Golf Course in Riverfront Park. These closures and limitations are in effect to maintain safety for residents and construction workers. Drilling operations are expected to be complete in early 2024 and the maintenance of the existing syphon pipeline will commence in spring 2024.  

“We appreciate that residents may be concerned about the risk of re-starting this project given the significant community response that was recently required,” added Derricott. “We are confident in the abilities of Urban Systems and Whissell Construction to deliver on this critical project. The Town of Cochrane continues to protect the best interests of the community through the contractual agreements and legal parameters put in place. We believe that the best way to hold everyone accountable and ensure we are able to deliver on this much needed project, is to keep moving forward as initially intended. Further, it will never be safer or less expensive to complete this project than it is now. And we know that by delivering on this work, we are equipping Cochrane with crucial infrastructure that will support the needs of our growing community for generations to come.”

“Urban Systems is confident in our ability to provide the necessary engineering and project management oversight to ensure the success of the Riverview Syphon Project,” said Lynda Cooke, Principal, Urban Systems. “We remain committed to working with the Town of Cochrane and Whissell Construction to see this project through to completion and ensure that Cochrane sees completion of this critical infrastructure.” 

“At Whissell, we pride ourselves as an expert in underground construction and infrastructure project work,” said Jarrad Whissell, President and CEO Whissell Construction Ltd. “Our crews have extensive experience in supporting these types of infrastructure projects and we are confident in our abilities to fully execute this work.” 

For more information on the Highway 22 to Riverview Syphon Project visit Cochrane.ca/westcochranesyphonproject.

Water / Wastewater incident update – 10:30am, November 10, 2023: 

  • Level III Water Restrictions have been lifted. 
  • Regular water service has been restored to the households in Riverside Place. Thank you to all impacted residents for your patience as we provided temporary water to these households. 
  • The temporary road closures have been lifted for Riverview Drive, as well as on Westrock Road & Westside Drive.
  • An incident update will be provided at the regular Council meeting on November 20, 2023. 
  • Cochrane Administration have officially deactivated the Emergency Coordination Centre. 
  • Questions or concerns related to the water / wastewater incident can be directed to Ops Reception at 403.851.2590. 

For more information, visit Cochrane.ca/emergencyresponse