Ottawa, Ont.- A $4.22 million federal government infrastructure investment will lay the groundwork for the construction of a regional water supply and distribution system that will benefit residents from the northern communities of La Ronge, Air Ronge and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB)156 and 156B.

Estimated at $12.14 million, the water pipeline project includes the expansion of La Ronge’s water treatment plant, the conversion of Air Ronge’s water treatment plant to a water distribution plant, pipeline construction in LLRIB 156B and modifications to the water distribution system of LLRIB 156 and 156B.

The government’s $4.22-million contribution is provided under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF). The community partners will fund the balance of the project with respective investments of:

Lac La Ronge Indian Band – $4.31 million

Northern Village of Air Ronge – $1.85 million

Northern Village of La Ronge – $1.76 million

Saskatchewan’s government, through the Northern Revenue Sharing Trust Account, is providing approximately $2 million to the communities of Air Ronge and La Ronge to help fund the project.

The new water treatment and distribution system addresses the necessity to upgrade the communities’ water treatment facilities to address water quality and capacity concerns as well as meeting regulatory requirements for water quality and waterworks operations.

Construction commenced in August with the tunnelling of the pipeline, which will proceed to mid-November or freeze-up. Over the winter, the design of the expanded La Ronge water treatment plant will be finalized and tenders for this work will be sought in spring 2009. Construction of the water treatment plant will occur between 2009 and 2010. The commissioning of the regional water supply and distribution system is targeted for June 2011.

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