Town of Olds Approves Capital Budget Amendment to Combat Infrastructure Issues

June 7, 2024

For Immediate Release 

Town of Olds Approves Capital Budget Amendment to Combat Infrastructure Issues

Olds, AB – June 7, 2024 – The Town of Olds Council has approved an amendment to the 2024 capital budget aimed at addressing inflow and infiltration (I&I) in the Town’s wastewater management system. This $400,000 addition underscores the Town's commitment to maintaining and improving its municipal infrastructure for the well-being of residents.

Understanding Inflow and Infiltration (I&I)
Inflow and infiltration (I&I) refers to the unintended entry of stormwater and groundwater into the municipal sewer system. This occurs in different ways like water entering through cracks in sewer pipes, improperly connected sump pumps, and aging infrastructure. The amount of excess water from I&I can overwhelm the sewer system, leading to potential backups, overflows, and increased treatment costs.

The Problem at Hand
Like many municipalities, the Town of Olds faces challenges with its underground infrastructure, specifically its sanitary pipes and manholes. However, since our sanitary system is connected to the South Red Deer Regional Wastewater Commission, every litre of water that enters our sanitary system is metered and sent via pipeline to the City of Red Deer’s sewage treatment plant for processing. In municipalities with wastewater lagoons for example, there are no transport or treatment costs and minimal risk of over-capacity issues.

Why This Budget Amendment?
The majority of the $1.5 million set aside to reduce water loss and I&I in the 2024 budget has been used to identify locations of infrastructure failure. This additional $400,000 will be used to repair leaks already identified by relining manholes and pipes that are allowing water to enter our sanitary system.
Where we are and What’s Next?
Using the valuable data collected during the 2023 vapour testing project, and through ‘smart cover’ technology, we are monitoring the problem and our progress while identifying solutions. By the end of 2024, the Town will have enough data to build an evidence-based strategy and timeline to address I&I in our community.

And despite this challenge, the Town is investment-ready and able to grow, with 2024 already a record year for development permits in our housing sector.
The Town’s focus on infrastructure, combined with our efforts to grow our economy, will help renew our aging infrastructure, stabilize our tax base, and ensure Olds remains an attractive place to live, work, study, and play for decades to come.

Media Contact:
Jillian Toellner
Supervisor – Communications & Engagement
Town of Olds
O: 403-507-4857
C: 403-415-6974