Residents in the Rural Municipality of Snipe Lake are set benefit from major water infrastructure improvements over the next two to three years. The Rural 44 project is a collaboration between the province, the Town of Eston, RM of Snipe Lake and RM of Newcombe, which looks to bring water to yard-sites through a new pipeline.

Brian Shaus, Administrator for the RM of Snipe Lake, said the origin of the pipeline will be at the water treatment plant in Eston and will run to yard-sites and individual farms within the two RM’s and also into a small part of the RM of Kindersley.

“The point behind it all is to get sustainable water supply into the yards and houses of the people who are living in the RM of Snipe Lake. Some places don’t have great access to wells, so some are hauling water in from Eston or from some of the wells in the area, that has cost associated with it and also inconvenience,” said Shaus.

The project will likely not see any formal construction on the pipeline until next year. Shaus shared that they will start the tendering process and are expecting that shovels will be in the ground sometime next year.

The completion of the project is slated for either 2021 or 2022, after which, numerous rural residents will have a water supply running directly to their homes and yard-sites.

In order to facilitate the new pipeline, the Eston wastewater treatment plant will undergo upgrades, and although Shaus only spoke on behalf of the RM of Snipe Lake, he expressed the changes will likely bring an increase in sales for the Town of Eston.

Improvements to the infrastructure is estimated to cost approximately $27 million, $7 million of which will fall on the responsibility of the RM of Snipe Lake. Shaus stated this expenditure will be partitioned through budgetary decisions and said it is not expected to trickle back to the residents, however, there is approximately $5 million that still needs to be provided for.

“The RM was always responsible for one-third of the project, but there have been a couple unexpected things that have come into play that will have to be done at the same time in order for us to distribute, so that’s where a large part of the overage, or new calculated costs have come from,” said Shaus.

Although Shaus was only speaking on behalf of the RM of Snipe Lake, he said they are not in it alone and said there is potential, and they are hoping for, participation from the surrounding municipalities who will also benefit from the water distribution project.

Shaus proclaimed this is an important step of improvement for the RM and shared he hopes bringing water to the yard-sites will not only encourage rural residents to stay on the farm, but will also help bring new residents to the area as well.