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Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2024 10am

Ramping up for food drive

    Organizers are gearing up for their one night blitz to help bring food to the tables of those in need, and residents have an easier way to give to the cause.
    This week, The Salvation Army dropped thousands of red grocery bags into the mail. These bags are for residents to pack and leave on their doorstep. This way volunteers are able to easily identify donations for the food drive, making collection that much easier.
    “We felt the bags would bring more awareness in regards to the needs of the food bank, especially this year because demands have risen and we need to raise our efforts to meet the demand,” said Lt. Matt Sheils of The Salvation Army.”
  This year’s annual food drive is slated for Thursday, November 24. The blitz starts at 6 p.m. and volunteers will be combing Drumheller neighbourhoods from Nacmine to Rosedale. There will also be volunteers canvassing Morrin, Munson and Carbon.
    Organizer Heather Colberg is grateful for the support of volunteers. This year, groups including the Morrin Library Club, the Sea Cadets, Drumheller Scouts, the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, the Drumheller Dragons, the DVSS boys basketball and girls volleyball teams and the St. Anthony’s volleyball teams are all pitching in.
    The former Liquidation World in Greentree Mall is once again the place where donations will be sorted.
    Colberg said they are still in great need of more volunteers on the evening of the food drive. Crews will muster at various locales throughout the valley before they head out. She says there are areas of Midland, as well as downtown Drumheller that are in need of volunteers.
    To learn more or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Heather Colberg at 403-823-0811, 403-8223-4242 or 403-823-2369.

Groundwater mapping tool gives better understanding of needed resource

    A new atlas developed as a result of collaboration between Alberta Environment and Water and the Alberta Geological Survey will give a better understanding of the groundwater resources between Edmonton and Calgary.
    The study is to ensure that the provincial government can implement policies and actions to manage groundwater in a sustainable manner.
    “The goal is to quantify how much groundwater is in an area such as Drumheller,” said Steve Wallace, a groundwater policy specialist. “We also want to predict whether groundwater use at the current rate is sustainable and whether use can increase.”
    The atlas covers groundwater features in the region and includes the results of airborne geophysical surveys in the Edmonton-Calgary corridor, which includes Drumheller.
    An electromagnetic pulse is emitted at the ground from a research plane. Depending on the properties of the ground, the pulse will be absorbed or reflected. A receiver in tow by the plane collects the reflected energy.
    Based on the response that the receiver gets, it is possible to determine the type of rocks, the layer sequence of the rocks, and the conductivity of the rocks. Less resistant rocks, such as shale or clays, generally do not hold water. High conductivity rocks, such as sandstone, hold more water.
    Afterwards, the data collected is combined with existing information, such as drilling reports, to give clearer insight about the distribution of groundwater.
    Another aspect of the project was investigating the chemical composition of groundwater in various areas through well sampling.
    “The natural quality of the water has been characterized,” said Wallace. “It would help users understand what kind of water quality they have and help determine what the water could be used for.”
    The results of the study show that groundwater resources in the Drumheller area are widespread and of good quality. The sensitivity of groundwater in the Drumheller area to land use, such as a spill, is quite low due to the composition of the rock layers.
    The next step is to quantify the water held in aquifers in the study area, including the area around Drumheller.
    “Preliminary investigations indicate there are no warning flags in the area,” said Wallace. “The data would help us nail down what sustainable groundwater use would be in the Drumheller area.”
    The atlas is available online at

East Coulee, Lehigh residents critical of water line project

    Residents of East Coulee and Lehigh met with members of  Town Council and administration on November 9 to discuss plans to bring municipal water to their neighbourhoods.
    Before the meeting began, residents had the opportunity to speak one on one with the town’s delegation and view posters outlining the water lines. At 6:30 p.m. the town gave a presentation outlining the two independent water improvement projects.
    The first project is the construction of a water transmission line from Cambria to the western edge of East Coulee. The total cost of the project is $4.3 million, with 90 per cent of the funding for the project coming from the provincial government through the Water for Life grant. The remaining 10 per cent of the cost would be paid for by the town, specifically by water utilities.
    The second project would bring the water lines into East Coulee and Lehigh. The cost for the second project is estimated to be $3.2 million dollars. Residents of the two communities would be responsible for the whole amount through a water improvement tax.
    The total payment per connection is estimated at $15,614.34, or $90.04 per month for 20 years. Grants would be available to seniors to help pay for the improvements.
    The water distribution lines would run under the streets, to the edge of each property line. Fire hydrants would be distributed throughout both neighbourhoods.
    The benefits, as stated in the presentation, would be that each neighbourhood would have a secure, high quality water source, fire protection, increased growth, and reduced insurance payments.
    Afterwards, residents were given an opportunity to ask questions of the delegation.
    Criticisms of the proposal were that insurance payments would not decrease by much and residents would begin paying water utilities on top of the monthly improvement tax.
    In addition to the water improvement tax, residents would be responsible for  bringing the water lines from the edge of their property into their homes. Homeowners would need to hire contractors to do the work. The town would give only two years for each owner to hook up to the water distribution lines.
    There were concerns raised regarding the quality of Drumheller water as well. During the meeting of the Committee of the Whole on Monday, November 14, council members and administration wished to alleviate any fears about water quality. The water that East Coulee and Lehigh residents would receive would travel through new pipes and the issues that have occurred with Drumheller are no longer a concern. The quality of municipal water in Drumheller exceeds provincial standards.
    Some residents were concerned the project was going through regardless of their desires. However, Mayor Terry Yemen assured residents the plan would only happen with the consent of those affected.
    The general consensus amongst the communities is they would be glad to have municipal water, but the cost is too high. The mood from the meeting was that residents were not in favour of the proposal.
    “I’ve received a number of emails from people at the meeting who didn’t speak out saying they would like the water,” said Mayor Terry Yemen. “But they asked if there was any way to lower the cost.”
    “We have been lobbying the provincial government to extend the transmission line to the east end of East Coulee, that would help lower the cost,” continued Mayor Yemen. “So far we’ve been unsuccessful, but we need the support of East Coulee and Lehigh to lobby the government too.”
    The Town of Drumheller will soon send out letters to all residents asking for further information from residents, for example if they would want water and at what cost.
    Along with the survey, the residents potentially affected would receive a detailed summary of the pertinent information. The goal being to help residents answer all of their questions and concerns.
    “The information would help council make an informed decision,” said Mayor Yemen.
    Regardless of the response by residents, the water transmission line between Cambria and East Coulee will still go ahead. Work should proceed through the spring and summer of 2012.


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