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The Town of Hay River’s water intake pipe, which stretches for about eight kilometres into Great Slave Lake, begins at the water treatment plant.
NNSL file photo

The Town of Hay River has caught a break in the search for its water intake line in Great Slave Lake.

A search in August by an Alberta contractor hired to inspect the line failed to find the pipe or its intake structure, basically where the pipe goes up from the bottom of the lake.

However, Mike Auge, the director of public works with the town, told the Sept. 22 online meeting of council that the water intake structure has now been found.

“On the water intake line, we got some good news on that,” he told council. “Arctic Research Foundation had a vessel that was out on the lake and they kindly did a couple of sweeps with their sonar for us, and were able to locate the intake structure. So we got coordinates of where it is from them.”

Auge said he has passed that information along to the contractor.

“And I’m waiting just on an updated estimate from them for doing the actual inspection now that we have accurate coordinates,” he said.

Auge noted that the Arctic Research Foundation sonar sweep actually located the new intake and the old intake.

“One of them was 500 metres off of the coordinates, and the other one was almost a kilometre off,” he said, referring to the previous information on where the intake lines might be. “So that kind of explains why we had trouble locating them, I think. Now we have accurate information on where they are. So that will help. And we will move forward with getting the intake inspection done.”

In comments to The Hub, Glenn Smith, the senior administrative officer with the town, said the plan is for the contractor to proceed with the inspection in the winter.

“We got a little more information and that will hopefully help them,” he said.

Smith explained that only the newer pipe is used to supply water to Hay River.

“There’s one that’s no longer in use anymore,” he said.

The contracting company, after three days of searching in August, could not find the line because of high turbidity – or muddiness – in the water of the lake and the age of previous reports.

The new intake pipe, which was built in 1977, has not been inspected since 1994. It begins at the water treatment plant and stretches about eight kilometres into Great Slave Lake.

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Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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