Encana looks at purchasing wastewater from the Town of Rimbey

The Town of Rimbey could be close to half a million dollars richer if a deal now in the works with Encana gets the nod from council

The Town of Rimbey could be close to half a million dollars richer if a deal now in the works with Encana gets the nod from council at their March 25 meeting.

Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson said Encana is proposing to purchase 180,000 cubic metres of wastewater at $2.25 per a cubic metre to be extracted from the town’s lagoon in the northeast edge of town.

“There is a potential for more (wastewater) to be used in the future,” he said. “Right now it is a one-year pilot project.”

Ibbotson said the company has verbally agreed to re-route their trucks hauling the water to the north.

“Right now we have a verbal commitment.”

The mayor is confident council will approve the agreement, which he sees as a huge financial gain for the town, noting $400,000 could be realized from the sale of the wastewater.

“The opportunity to sell our wastewater allows us to chip away at our seven million dollar infrastructure deficit,” he said.

Ibbotson said Encana plans to spend $75,000 on infrastructure costs to ensure the wastewater is hauled away as efficiently as possible.

Spokesman Doug McIntyre said Encana isn’t in a position to comment on the nature of the contents of the agreement until it is in place. He did, however, say that Encana has identified the wastewater as a potential alternative source for its Duvernay operations.

“As part of our water management strategy in the Duvernay, (an emerging natural gas liquids resource play in west-central Alberta), we evaluated alternative options to sourcing water for our operations. We regularly look for opportunities to use unutilized sources of water where we can. This water could be located far deeper than typical water wells and drinking aquifers or water which is of too poor a quality for household or other industrial use. In this case, we identified wastewater effluent as a potential alternative source for our Duvernay operations.”

Ibbotson said Encana could begin to extract the wastewater by this summer.