Mike Auge, the director of public works with the Town of Hay River, has told council that the water intake line in Great Slave Lake could not be located for a planned inspection.
NNSL file photo

A project to inspect the town’s water intake line in Great Slave Lake ran into a problem.

A contracting company from Alberta hired to inspect the line in August couldn’t find it.

“They weren’t able to find any portions of the line or the intake structure itself,” said Mike Auge, the town’s director of public works, during council’s online meeting on Aug. 25.

“They were out on the water for three days looking for the line and looking for the intake structure without any luck,” he said.

Auge explained the difficulties in locating the line were due to the age of town reports on the intake line, as well as turbidity in the water.

“Visibility was not good,” he said, adding they had been hoped that by waiting until this point of the year there would be better visibility in the water.

“But as we’re all aware, this is an unusual year,” he said. “So the turbidity out there hasn’t been great.”

The turbidity – basically muddy water – began with spring breakup in early May and continued with high water levels on the lake and in the Hay River throughout the summer.

Auge said the contracting company will be submitting a report on the work it did and the areas checked.

“The costs for the work they did will be coming in a lot lower than it would have been if they had found it and inspected it,” he said. “So they will also be providing some options on how to move forward, whether it be looking at having them back later in the year or maybe even a wintertime inspection of the line.”

Once the town receives the report, Auge said there would be more information to share and the options on how to move forward will be considered.

The town’s drinking water comes from the intake pipe, which stretches eight kilometres out into Great Slave Lake.

The intake pipe, which was built in 1977, has not been inspected since 1994.

The planned inspection would have cost about $50,000, if the line had been located.

While the contracting company was in town, Auge said it inspected both of the town’s water reservoirs, and will provide information on their quality and cleanliness in its report.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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