Photos: Inside Yellowknife’s new water treatment plant

Yellowknife water treatment plant
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Yellowknife’s new water treatment plant opened its doors to visitors for the first time on Monday.

The facility cost a fraction over $30 million to build and began operations this summer, just in time to end a weeks-long boil-water advisory across the city.

Such advisories should be a thing of the past as the new facility boasts an advanced water filtration system.

Moose FM took this photo tour with city staff.

Scott Gillard and Chris Greencorn
Superintendent Scott Gillard and director of public works Chris Greencorn gave Moose FM a tour.
Inside Yellowknife water treatment facility
The facility can handle 20 million litres of water per day, and could support more than 30,000 people.
Inside Yellowknife water treatment facility
At the heart of the facility are new water filters, or membranes, which do a much better job of cleaning the city’s water than was previously the case.
Inside Yellowknife's water treatment facility
Scott Gillard holds up an example of the new water filtration system.
Inside Yellowknife's water treatment facility
Water passes through this filter, which helps to remove particles as tiny as one micron (one thousandth of a millimetre).
Inside Yellowknife's water treatment facility
Gillard believes the new filtration system makes boil-water advisories a thing of the past.
Inside Yellowknife's water treatment facility
These tanks contain sodium hypochlorite. This chemical replaces chlorine in the water cleaning process and is said to be a safer solution.
Inside Yellowknife's water treatment facility
The facility employs three staff and costs around $1.3 million to run each year. Testing of the water supply can be performed on-site.
Inside Yellowknife's water treatment facility
This instrument tests for turbidity, or how much silt and debris is in the water. (When Moose FM toured the facility, turbidity was at around 0.012 NTU. For context, the 2003 boil-water advisory in Yellowknife saw turbidity approach 50 NTU.)
Inside Yellowknife's water treatment facility
These screens are part of the small control centre in one corner of the building, from which operators can inspect the entire system.
View from Yellowknife's water treatment facility
The next question for Yellowknife is where its water comes from. This is the view from the facility, looking out over Yellowknife Bay. The city could decide to draw water directly from the bay when its old pipe to Yellowknife River comes up for replacement, in the near future.
Inside Yellowknife's water treatment facility
If the city decides to pump water from Yellowknife Bay, contamination from the toxic remnants of nearby Giant Mine will be a concern. This bland corridor could form part of a new arsenic treatment installation if the city decides to go ahead with it.
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