Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant invests $250,000 in a state-of-the-art buoy
The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant has invested in a state-of-the-art buoy.
The $250,000 “superbuoy” will assist in monitoring water conditions near the plant’s outermost intake point. The buoy will also assist University ofSaskatchewanresearchers in their work concerning changing water conditions in Buffalo Pound
Blair Kardash, manager of research and laboratory at the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, said the “superbouy” is a well-deserved moniker for the new device.
“The buoy itself is built much stronger than the previous one,” he said. “The sensors that are on the buoy are enhancements of what was there originally, its better quality and some of these sensors will be able to be used in the winter time.”
This ability to leave the buoy on the lake year-round is very useful for Professor Helen Boulch and her team at the U of S School of Environment and Sustainability.
“The new one is neat because it allows us to sneak a peek under the ice,” she said. “But we can basically transform it to sustain itself under the ice and follow those changes that are occurring right now through the long winter and long snow cover period that can have a really big impact on lakes."
On top of the ability to leave the buoy on the lake over the winter, it also comes equipped with underwater cameras which are a very valuable asset for research.
“So just something as simple as photographs over time allow us to understand things like those scums and blooms that come right to the surface, which can give us an indicator of some ecological changes occurring in the lake as well,”Boulch said.
For Kardash, the new and improved buoy will offer valuable up to date information that will warn the operators of the plant when there are changing factors such as water temperature, low oxygen levels in the water leading to higher levels of manganese, and other potential issues.
“So as a result of streaming live data coupled with automatic alerts and alarms that are sent by email to operations, we can properly understand that there are changing conditions that are occurring,” he said. “It will give us an idea of when to take the necessary steps to add an additional treatment process.”
The buoy is set to be delivered in late spring of this year. It will be prepared by the Buffalo Pound water treatment staff as well as Boulch’s team, with a planned operational date in early summer.
The buoy is set to improve the plant’s efficiency as it provides water treatment for approximately 260,000 residents in Regina, Moose Jaw and the surrounding area.