Water & Sewer Services
Potable water is available in all County hamlets. Water for Dunmore, Desert Blume, Seven Persons and Veinerville originates from the South Saskatchewan River and is delivered to the County from the City of Medicine Hat water treatment plant. It is rechlorinated locally to ensure it meets drinking water standards set by the Alberta government.
Hilda and Schuler water also comes from the South Saskatchewan River and is delivered as raw water from the Hilda Water Pipeline Co-op. The treatment plant in Hilda serves both hamlets. A similar arrangement is found in Suffield, where water is delivered from CFB Suffield.
Walsh water originates from springs in the Cypress Hills and piped to Walsh, with a number of turnouts along the way for agricultural purposes.
Irvine currently sources ground water from wells, but plans are progressing for a regional pipeline from Dunmore. Construction of this $15 million project commenced June 2014 and the Irvine portion is expected to be complete by the end of 2015.
Upgrades to pipelines have been done recently to provide consistent pressure and minimal downtime due to breaks. However, due to supply restrictions and cost, Desert Blume is the only hamlet that can provide fire flows.
Residents and businesses outside hamlets provide their own water from ground water wells, trucked in to fill cisterns or from rural water co-operatives. These co-ops include Westside (serving south and west of Medicine Hat), Bullshead (Eagle Butte area), South Dunmore, East Cypress (east of Veinerville), and Ross Creek (north of Elkwater).
Sanitary sewer systems operate in all hamlets except Walsh and Dunmore. These systems use a lagoon treatment system with aerobic and anaerobic cells, evaporation ponds, followed by discharge of treated effluent into the natural water system, as approved by the Alberta government.
Dunmore, Walsh and all rural areas use septic tanks with a septic tile discharge field. The Safety Codes Act of Alberta and private sector inspection and approval companies ensure installation is done properly.