The Capital Region Northeast Water Services Commission (CRNWSC) was established on September 1, 1984 and provides water to the City of Fort Saskatchewan, Strathcona County, Sturgeon County, the Town of Redwater, the Town of Gibbons and the Town of Bon Accord. CRNWSC purchases its water directly from EPCOR Water Services in coordination with the Regional Water Customers Group.
Prior to 1967 the municipalities downstream of Edmonton were in search of improved quality and quantity of water. The North Saskatchewan River seemed like the most likely source, but the Provincial Department of Health discouraged the direct use of the river.
With a regional water supply problem, the municipalities formed an adhoc committee to pursue a regional system.
This was the start of what came to be the Northeast Water Board. The board had representation from each municipality.
In 1968, a report was submitted to the Government of Alberta on the Edmonton Northeast Urban Industrial Water Supply. It conveyed the following points:
- Town of Redwater’s raw water waterline to the North Saskatchewan River and the horizontal infiltration gallery were not capable of meeting the increased water requirement. Neither was their water treatment plant capable of increased capacity.
- Village of Gibbons were drawing water from the Sturgeon River. With unreliable river flows and upstream pollution were a problem.
- Town of Fort Saskatchewan had to rely on a ground water aquifer as the North Saskatchewan River was considered unsuitable.
- The rural municipalities were promoting industry, but potable water was a problem.
The report also outlined a regional water supply concept, project costs and an estimated wholesale price for water. Project cost and funding alternatives were examined. Water rates of 80 cents per thousand gallons were suggested as reasonable. The request to Government was for a Government contribution and lower debenture interest rates.
The long-term solution for water to the Northeast area was a waterline. The municipalities of the County of Strathcona No. 20, Town of Fort Saskatchewan, Municipal District of Sturgeon No. 90, Village of Gibbons, County of Thorhild No.7 and the Town of Redwater formed an adhoc committee to pursue the regional water supply system.
Partnership with Government
In July of 1969 the Government of Alberta offered to provide financial assistance. They would provide 20% of the project funds and requested that their contribution be paid back either when the Northeast Water Board were operating at a profit while selling water at 80 cents per thousand gallons or after 25 years once the Board debentures were paid. An agreement was executed between Her Majesty the queen and the participating municipalities.
During the fall of 1969, Phase I of the water system had started construction at a cost of $1,167,000. In spring of 1970 Phase II of the water system began at the cost of $876,900. Phase III was started during the summer of 1970 at the cost of $160,500 to construct Pumphouse No.1 in Fort Saskatchewan with automated pumps controlled by radio to provide a preset pressure in Redwater.
1970 – 1977
The official opening of the Northeast Water Board System happened on October 3, 1970. Initial capacity was 1 million gallons per day to Fort Saskatchewan.
Gibbons Waterline was constructed and extended in 1977 to the Village of Gibbons from the On-Line Storage and Repump Facility to the Town’s Reservoir. The ownership of this waterline was subsequently transferred to the Water Board and further pumping and fill station improvements were made.
Due to rapid growth and increased water demands projected in the late 1970’s the Northside Water Supply Expansion program commenced on September 5, 1980. These pipes have been oversized and funded to serve the Vegreville Corridor Water Board (John S. Batiuk Water Service Commission). This expansion was sized to serve the future needs of both the Northeast and Vegreville Water Commissions.
An alternate water source was secured directly from the City of Edmonton in the vicinity of the Clareview Reservoir. Along the north side of the North Saskatchewan River a waterline was constructed in three phases:
1. On-line Storage and Repump facility were constructed at the junction of the waterline to Gibbons in the southwest corner of WW4 Industrial Park within the M.D. of Sturgeon and northwest of Fort Saskatchewan. The facility included 6820 m3 of water and the repump facilities to Gibbons, to Redwater, and provision to expand the facility to serve the Capital Region Vegreville Corridor water system.
2. 16 km of 914 mm diameter concrete cylinder pressure pipe from north of the Clareview Reservior generally paralleling Highway 15, to the existing waterline north of Highway 15 and west of the river.
3. An additional 5 km of 762 mm diameter concrete cylinder pressure pipe was installed to tie the Edmonton-Fort Saskatchewan pipeline section to the on-line storage reservoir to further increase water supply to Gibbons, Redwater, and communities throughout the Vegreville corridor.
Since the lines were built, a number of municipal boundary changes have occurred. These have resulted in more of the lines falling within what is now Edmonton.
1981 – 1984
Phase III of the expansion program
Phase III of the expansion program consisted of upgrading the line from the Fort Saskatchewan junction to the Gibbons junction to a 30-inch line. This was finally completed in May 1984.
With this new system in full operation, the line will be able to supply 21 million gallons per day to residents and industries in Fort Saskatchewan, Redwater, the County of Strathcona, the M.D. of Sturgeon, Gibbons and communities along the Vegreville corridor.
In 1984 provincial legislation was passed requiring the formation of regional water commissions and on September 1, 1984 the Capital Region Northeast Water Services Commission was established, thereby dissolving the Northeast Water Board.
In 1985 the Vegreville Corridor Water Services Commission had finalized agreements with the Northeast Water Services Commission for water supply and for the operation of the transmission facility. In June 1993 The Thorhild Regional Water Services Commission signed a supply agreement as well with C.R.N.W.S.C.
The Town of Bon Accord was connected to the waterline in January and the wastewater line in February 2003. This is the result of a joint venture between the Town, the Capital Region Northeast Water Services Commission (CRNWSC) and the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission (ACRWC). The Province provided two thirds of the funding through Alberta Infrastructure grants. The joint venture partners funded the remainder.
2003 – Today
April 3, 2003 the Town of Bon Accord celebrated the grand opening of its water and wastewater lines with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Bon Accord Reservoir.
Current members of the CRNWSC now consists of:
- City of Fort Saskatchewan
- Strathcona County
- Sturgeon County
- Town of Redwater
- Town of Gibbons
- Town of Bon Accord
Current Supply Agreements consist of:
John S. Batiuk Regional Water Commission
Highway 28/63 Regional Water Services Commission