Canada and Ontario invest in improved water infrastructure in Emo

Natali Trivuncic
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Big improvements are set to take place in the Township of Emo that will improve water infrastructure and provide more jobs.

On Feb. 8, a virtual infrastructure event was held with Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, Greg Rickford, Ontario Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs, and MPP for Kenora—Rainy River, and Harold McQuaker, Mayor of the Township of Emo.

The federal government announced it is allocating $286,000 to improve the quality of potable water in the Township of Emo, through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan with the government of Ontario contributing over $238,000. The Township of Emo will also provide more than $191,000 for the project.

The project supports needed upgrades to Emo’s water treatment facility by flushing existing water pipes to remove excess sand build up, installing an intake screen to prevent blockages, upgrading the chemical feed system and installing a switchover panel and an ion exchange treatment solution which softens water and removes unwanted minerals.

“Long-term investments in infrastructure are key to building healthy and resilient communities while also providing important services to our residents,” Powlowski said. “Most importantly, it will improve the quality of water for Emo.”

The upgrades will improve the facility’s performance, lengthen its lifespan and ensure residents in Emo have access to good quality drinking water.

Rickford said this investment will fundamentally improve Emo’s water treatment facility and preserve the community’s access to clean and reliable water for years to come.

The purpose of the project is to also support the reduction of Trihalomethanes (THMs) and Haloacetic acids (HAAs) in the drinking water. THMs and HAAs are the most common types of disinfection byproducts found in chlorinated drinking water and can be harmful if too much of it is present.

Ontario Clean Water Agency said there is a certain limit within ministry regulations that THMs and HAAs must remain below and in some of the tests done of the water, it was going over the limit, which prompted action to upgrade the system.

McQuaker said the town greatly appreciates the assistance provided by both the federal and provincial governments and that this project will ensure continued safe and reliable potable water for current and future residents of Emo.

The project is aiming to launch this week and be completed by the end of the year.