Water Workers Week
It isn’t very often that we stop to think about what it takes and who is responsible for making sure the water we drink is clean and the water we dispose of is properly treated before it is returned to the environment. We’re giving a big shout out to the hundreds of City of Saskatoon water and wastewater workers during Water Workers Week September 13-19, 2021.
For essentially all living things, water is the most important natural resource and Saskatoon’s water and wastewater systems don’t operate on their own. Every day, the people of Saskatoon rely on the workers who repair our water mains when there’s a break, run lab tests, help customers, work on major water infrastructure projects, install meters, monitor water intake, make sure the lights are on at the plants and that everything is operating efficiently.
Their work is essential 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, these essential workers have continued to work despite the heightened risks. With enhanced personal protective equipment use and added safety measures, our water and wastewater workers have continued to provide the most basic of human needs.
They don’t do it for the recognition but deserve our appreciation! So, if you work with or know anyone who works in water and wastewater, please take a moment to thank them for all they do!
Our Urban Water Cycle
Saskatoon continues to create infrastructure and processes that will sustain our access to quality drinking water. We have developed a successful urban water cycle in Saskatoon, moving water from source, to faucet to finish. Our Water Treatment Plant pulls in 43 billion litres of water from the South Saskatchewan River every year, moving it through a system of over 2,000 kilometres of pipes and pumps valued at $6 billion. This ensures water is available when and where we need it.
Watch our Urban Water Cycle!
Long-term sustainability of the municipal water and sewer pipe infrastructure undergoes continuous inspections and evaluations.
Projects are planned every year to replace or rehabilitate pipes, steadily reducing the number of pipes in poor condition. In 2021 large scale water main and lead service line replacement projects will continue in some of Saskatoon's most established neighbourhoods.
The Urban Water Cycle ends at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, where water is clarified for its return to the river.
Our Wastewater Treatment Plant uses natural, sustainable biological processes to treat the water. We provide nutrient removal and UV disinfection to restore the water to provincial and federal quality standards before it’s returned into the river. These standards are in place to protect aquatic habitats and downstream communities.
Residents also play a role in the Urban Water Cycle - from reducing residential wastewater to harvesting rainwater and helping manage storm water.
- Since 2016 approximately 75% of water meters in the city have been upgraded to Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). These wireless water meters allow homeowners to manage water consumption, mitigating high or unintended water usage.
- City residents can apply for rebates when they purchase a rain barrel that helps save water, energy, and money by using rain water for outdoor applications.
- The new Storm Water Management Credit program encourages commercial and multi-residential property owners to improve the quality or reduce the quantity of runoff entering the City’s storm water system by offering reductions to Storm Water Utility charges.
A significant amount of energy is required to treat, distribute, and manage our water and our wastewater. By reducing your water consumption, you help conserve energy use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help ease the burden on our water and wastewater treatment plants and distribution systems.