Water & Wastewater

Utilities

The Town of Olds maintains over 200 kilometres of underground water and waste water distribution systems. 

Storm Water

The Town is responsible to provide an adequate outlet for storm water generated within the town boundary and provide for protection of downstream landowners as directed by Alberta Environment & Parks. The storm water system is maintained by Operations and directed by policy. This includes inspections of all:

  • Storm grates after any rainfall event;

  • Flushing (regular program) storm water, underground system;
  • Regular maintenance of open drainage and monitoring system; and
  • Discharge or outfalls from storm water management are regulated by Alberta Environment and Parks.
  • The areas of responsibility are sewer line blockages, lift station failure, manhole covers ajar or off, as well as sewer mains that need regular flushing and cleaning.

Water System

The Town continues to actively find, investigate, and repair water lines to reduce our water losses. This is an ongoing focus with our water distribution system within our aging underground infrastructure.

The Town is responsible for the supply, distribution and fire protection supply of potable water to Olds residents, businesses and industry. The Utilities function is responsible for the maintenance and certified operation of the water supply system as outlined by Alberta Environment and Parks, Code of Practice - solely for operating a distribution system.

There are two reservoirs with in the Town of Olds, one with 2,000,000 gallons and the other with 500,000 gallons, and pump houses that shall be routinely inspected and water consumption readings taken.

Residents in the Town of Olds receive their water from the Mountain View Regional Water Services Commission a safe, reliable source of potable water for our citizens. The Mountain View Regional Water Services Commission owns and operates the Anthony Henday Water Treatment Plant, which is situated on the banks of the Red Deer River northwest of Innisfail. The Mountain View Regional Water Services Commission at its discretion may impose Water Restrictions on its member communities at any time.

Wastewater System

The Town of Olds’ first wastewater treatment plant was installed in the 1950s. Throughout the decades numerous upgrades were made to the sewage plant until it saw its “last flush” on July 30, 2015. The Wastewater Treatment Plant was decomissioned soon after.  Wastewater in the Town of Olds is now transferred through the South Red Deer Regional Wastewater Commission which brings untreated wastewater to the City of Red Deer sewage facilities for treatment and disposal. The South Red Deer Regional Wastewater Commission (SRDRWC) is composed of the Towns of Olds, Bowden, Innisfail, and Penhold, Mountain View County and Red Deer County. The SRDRWC Wastewater Transmission system allows for untreated wastewater from each of the 6 (six) member communities to be treated to higher standards at the City of Red Deer Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. This helps protect the aquatic environment and the quality of source water for much of Central Alberta.

The Town of Olds currently operates and maintains 3 wastewater lift stations which are used to move wastewater from lower to higher elevations, where natural gravity flow decreases. 

Water Conservation Rebates

Water Conservation in Olds

The Town of Olds is anticipating direction from the provincial government and will support water conservation efforts for our community and for those downstream from us!  We will keep our residents informed and updated as we learn more.

Small changes make a big difference! Here are some actions that support water conservation:

  • Repair any leaky faucets, showers, taps or outdoor hose connections.
  • Upgrade to high-efficiency appliances when you can. (Take advantage of the Town of Olds Toilet Replacement Program for a $50 rebate!)
  • Use rain barrels (Take advantage of the Town of Olds Rain Barrel Rebate Program for a $50 rebate!)
  • Use compost bins since nutrient-rich compost also helps retain moisture in the soil (Take advantage of the Town of Olds Home Composter Rebate Program for a $50 rebate!)
  • Plant native and drought-resistant vegetation

Water Conservation & Drought

Alberta is currently experiencing a significant drought.

During Summer 2023, several water basins reached critical drought conditions due to low rainfall and high temperatures.  The Government of Alberta is closely monitoring the situation and is preparing for a similar or worse drought in 2024.

Drought – Information for Albertans | Alberta.ca

The province has five stages in its water management plan, ranging from Stage 1, a minor drought, to Stage 5, which is a province-wide emergency. We are currently in Stage 4.

Government of Alberta Water Shortage Management Stages Factsheet

 

Conserving Water at the Olds Splashpark:  A Commitment to Sustainability

Tentative open date for the 2024 season is June 17th. 

The 2024 summer season is here!  We’re proud to share how we’re making a splash in water conservation by recirculating the water, all while ensuring endless hours of enjoyment for our community in our community Splashpark.

Recirculation for Resourcefulness:

Instead of constantly drawing fresh water and sending the water straight down the drain, our splashpark uses a recirculation system that efficiently filters and reuses the water, significantly reducing our water consumption.  Good for water conservation and operations!

Water Quality Maintenance:

Our dedicated staff at the Olds Aquatic Centre diligently monitor and maintain the water quality to ensure it’s balanced for both safety and sustainability.  This creates a safe and enjoyable experience for our visitors and optimizes the efficiency of our recirculation system.

Adhering to High Standards: 

Just like a public pool, our splashpark falls under stringent guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our visitors.  Water samples are collected and submitted to Alberta Health Services (AHS) weekly for bacteriological testing.

Join us in making a splash for water conservation this summer!  Together, we can create lasting memories while preserving our most precious resource.  See you at the splashpark!

 

Olds College: Did you know...

  • All potable water comes from the municipal system, but the Olds College has multiple sources of water.
  • Animal Use: The Olds College has 4 licensed wells in Mountain View County it uses for all animal water usage. No municipal water is used for this purpose.
  • Irrigation / Landscaping: The Olds College collects stormwater in several dugouts throughout campus that then gets pumped to its irrigation systems for crops and lawn care. No municipal water is used for this purpose.
Provincial Action Taken

A provincial Drought Command Team has been established and a first draft of the 2024 Drought Emergency Plan is complete. Their drought modelling will allow the province to determine how to maximize the province’s water supply.

Alberta’s government is working closely with communities like Olds, to conserve and manage water for current and future water shortages. Alberta’s government continues to observe the situation through a network of water and snowpack monitoring stations. Information on current conditions is updated regularly on the Alberta River Basins website (rivers.alberta.ca).

 

Water Use Exemption Permit

If you are installing new sod or grass seed, please fill out the Water Use Exemption Permit Application to use water outside of the Water Conservation Use Schedule. This is allowable as per Bylaw 2024-17 Water Conservation.

Terms and conditions are as follows:

  • For the first 2 weeks of the exemption, you are permitted to water twice daily to achieve a deep soaking of your new or a portion of your lawn and to improve the survivability of the lawn.
  • After the first 2 weeks you are permitted to water your new or a portion of your lawn once daily for the duration of the Level 1 water restrictions.
  • The Town of Olds has the right to restrict or deny watering exemptions at any time.

Town of Olds Parks Sustainable Water Conservation Initiatives

In our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship, the Town of Olds Parks Service Area is proud to implement a range of innovative strategies aimed at conserving water throughout the summer months. These initiatives not only reduce water consumption but also contribute to the health and vitality of our urban green spaces. Here's how we're making a difference:

1. Tree Bags for Efficient Watering:

  • Ease of Use: Tree bags provide a hassle-free solution for watering trees, ensuring that hydration is delivered directly to the roots with minimal effort.
  • Less Maintenance: With the capacity to hold water for up to a week, tree bags require less frequent refilling, allowing our team to focus on other essential tasks.
  • Prevention of Underwatering and Overwatering: By delivering water directly to the roots, tree bags mitigate the risks of both underwatering and overwatering, promoting optimal growth conditions for newly planted trees.
  • Drought Resilience: Tree bags serve as a vital resource in safeguarding heat-sensitive trees against the adverse effects of drought, maintaining their health and vitality even during periods of water scarcity.

2. Self-Watering Hanging Baskets and Planters for Annual Flowers:

  • Water Conservation: Our self-watering hanging baskets and planters are designed to minimize water wastage by ensuring that only the required amount of water is used, thanks to their integrated reservoirs and slow-release mechanisms.
  • Nutrient Retention: These planters prevent the loss of nutrients commonly associated with traditional watering methods, promoting healthier plant growth and reducing the need for additional fertilization.
  • Healthy Root Growth: The consistent hydration provided by self-watering planters promotes robust root development, ensuring the long-term health and vitality of plants.
  • Convenience: Once filled, self-watering planters can sustain plants for extended periods, meaning less frequent waterings.

3. Utilization of Mycorrhizal Fungi (Root Rescue) on some of our trees:

  • Root Rescue is a proprietary blend of mycorrhizal fungi and bacteria formulated to enhance plant growth and vitality. When applied to plant roots, Root Rescue establishes symbiotic relationships, significantly increasing nutrient and water uptake. This results in healthier, more resilient plants with improved resistance to stressors such as drought, disease, and transplant shock.

4. Utilization of Stormwater Ponds and Hydrant Flushing for Watering:

  • Recycled Water Benefits: By utilizing stormwater ponds and hydrant flushing water for watering purposes, we harness recycled water resources, reducing our reliance on potable water sources and minimizing strain on municipal water systems.
  • Sustainable Water Management: This practice promotes sustainable water management practices by repurposing runoff and hydrant flushing water to nourish trees and flowers, enhancing the ecological health of our community while conserving precious freshwater resources.

5.  Optimized Watering Practices:

  • Early Morning Watering: The town's landscaping and maintenance crews are scheduled to start their watering activities early in the morning. This shift in work hours helps ensure that town vegetation receives adequate water during the most effective times of the day.
  • Deep Watering Techniques: Deep watering is especially important during a drought because it reduces plant stress by delivering water directly to the roots, enhancing soil health through increased microbial activity, nutrient uptake, and improved soil structure and fertility, which helps plants better withstand dry conditions.

6.  Mulching Trees, Shrub Beds, and Flowers:

  • Municipal Landscaping Practices: The Town of Olds has been mulching new trees, shrub beds, and certain flower beds in public areas for many years and plans to continue to do so. This practice is part of the town’s strategy to conserve water, retain soil moisture, and improve the health of its greenery.

Through these comprehensive water conservation efforts, the Town of Olds Parks Service Area remains dedicated to fostering a greener, more sustainable future for all. Together, we can make a significant impact on water conservation and environmental preservation.

Sewer Backups

Sewer backup occurs when something blocks the normal flow of wastewater from your house to the Town’s wastewater line. When this happens, foul water often comes up through the floor drain or toilet in your basement. When sewer backup is reported to us, we will inspect the wastewater main line in front of your property. Our inspection will determine whether the backup is due to a problem with a municipal main line, or your property's service line. It is best practice to call a plumber first to start the initial examination of your wastewater line to determine the location of the blockage.

  • If the service line within your property is identified as the source or the sewer backup problem, the repair is the property owner's responsibility;
  • If a service line on municipal property is identified as the source of the problem, the Town will review to determine how best to proceed. The Town of Olds bylaws specify that we will compensate the owner or occupant for the cost of the video inspection, and complete repairs as necessary, if the source of the backup is identified on municipal property.

A sewer backup is an insurable risk. If damage to your premises occurred as a result of the backup, contact your insurance company for help.

Contact

To report a sewer backup to the Town's Utilities Department, call 403-556-6981.