The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant is located approximately thirty kilometres northeast of the City of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on Highway No. 301, seventeen kilometres north of the intersection with Highway No. 1. The Plant was commissioned in 1955 and provides safe, high quality drinking water to its customers. The Plant has undergone three major capacity and process improvements since its original construction and now has a rated production capacity of 205 Million Litres per Day. The Plant was one of the pioneers in the use of the GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) filtration process for the removal of algae-produced taste and odour.
By virtue of the Unanimous Membership Agreement dated January 1, 2016, the Plant is now a Non-Profit Corporation legally known as the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation. The Cities of Moose Jaw and Regina jointly own the Plant located at the Buffalo Pound Lake. The City of Regina owns 74% of the Plant while the City of Moose Jaw owns 26%. The Buffalo Pound Water Board of Directors govern the Plant on behalf of the Cities.
The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant provides water to approximately 260,000 customers. The primary water users are the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw. Secondary water users include Sask Water, Buffalo Pound Provincial Park and users of the farm water stand located at the Plant.
Water for Regina and Moose Jaw is taken from Buffalo Pound Lake, a shallow reservoir in the Qu’Appelle Valley. The lake is 29 km long, 1 km wide but has an average depth of only 3 metres. The surface area of Buffalo Pound Lake is 2900 hectares inferring it has a capacity of 90 million cubic metres at the “full supply level” of 509.3 metres above sea level. Water levels in Buffalo Pound Lake are controlled by the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency and maintained by the release of water from the Qu’Appelle Dam on Lake Diefenbaker. Mean annual water releases of 1 to 2 cubic metres per second are typical. Thus, the average residence time of water in the lake varies from eighteen to thirty-six months. Very little water enters Buffalo Pound Lake from rain or spring runoff except in abnormally wet years. The principal source of the water is rain and snow-melt in the mountains of Alberta, collected by various tributaries draining to the South Saskatchewan River and stored in Lake Diefenbaker.
As such, the water is potentially affected by discharges from point sources (upstream cities) and non-point sources (agricultural and recreational).
Buffalo Pound Lake is generally free of industrial pollution but is naturally rich in nutrients (phosphate, nitrogen and dissolved organic carbon) which encourage the growth of phytoplankton (typically diatoms in the winter and green algae or cyanobacteria in the summer). Weed growth can also be extensive. Algae and weeds pose many treatment challenges such as high chemical demands and undesirable tastes or odours. The lake and watershed appear to also be impacted by ground waters infusing minerals.
- Ryan Johnson - General Manager
- Dan Conrad - Manager, Laboratory & Research
- Rudi Sapach - Project Manager Gene Berezowski - Plant Foreman
- Keith Guillaume - Operations & Safety Manager
- Harry Gahra - Maintenance & Engineering Manager
- Laurie Wilkinson - Office Manager
To provide for the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw, a reliable and affordable supply of safe, high-quality drinking water which meet the needs and expectations of consumers.
- Treated water that meets the quality expectations of the citizens of Moose Jaw and Regina, as well as meeting, or exceeding, all government regulated parameters.
- Operational practices and controls that ensure a continuous and safely-treated supply of water within an environmentally-responsible and cost-efficient operation.
- Judicious monitoring of the treated water from the Plant to the end of the Cities’ distribution systems. Appropriate monitoring of the water in Buffalo Pound Lake, the Upper Qu’Appelle River and Lake Diefenbaker to identify long-term trends and areas of concern to protect the water supply.
- Water quality research to identify possible chemical and microbiological contaminants and to test and implement the best available treatment technologies, thus ensuring that the Water Treatment Plant can meet current and future expectations for regulated parameters.