Tetra Tech designed a water treatment plant with an innovative, easy-to-operate membrane system to accommodate existing and future population growth for Tallcree First Nation in remote, northern Alberta.

The South Tallcree water treatment plant faced water quality issues and could not keep up with local population growth. Tallcree First Nation and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) retained Tetra Tech to complete an environmental assessment, geotechnical assessment, reservoir upgrades, preliminary and detailed plant designs, and construction supervision and on-site training for a new water treatment facility at South Tallcree near Fort Vermilion to serve the population of 300.

We appreciate our contractors (Bird-Nason and Tetra Tech) who were open to the inclusion of our home-grown resources in making this project a success.

Chief Rupert Meneen, Tallcree First Nation

Tetra Tech completed a comprehensive review of available environmental and geotechnical data for the water treatment plant site and conducted site work to cover data deficiencies. Our team conducted a geotechnical and foundation assessment and provided reporting and recommendations for the water treatment facility. Our work included reviewing borehole drilling, calculating field hydraulic conductivity, designing foundations, and monitoring groundwater.

Tetra Tech developed the preliminary design for the new water treatment facility and reservoir liner to service the projected population of 300 within the next 25 years. Our team interviewed suppliers and selected an innovative, easy to operate membrane system; installed a new liner system in the reservoir; prepared a preliminary design for the new water intake; and conducted an operations training program. Hiring local First Nation labor and equipment saved costs and provided employment and training, building the capacity and experience of the local staff.

In addition, our team provided two modular homes for contractor staff during the construction phase that were later turned over to the Tallcree First Nation for housing two local families. The homes cost the same as housing contractor staff at a hotel and reduced daily road travel to site by more than 800 hours, improving project safety and providing an additional long-term benefit to the community.

During the 10 months of construction, Tetra Tech provided complete resident supervisory services and operations training. In June 2014 the new plant was commissioned and officially opened with a community ceremony.

The plant continues to deliver reliable and safe water and serves as a model for other First Nations water plants in the area.