By Keegan Lemieux, EMCO Waterworks
When you consider that irrigated land is fifty-percent more productive than non-irrigated land, water can be seen as a source of wealth creation. One has only to look to a drought or a flood to see that water can also be an incredible destructive force. One meter and greater diameter PVC pipe has seen increasing use in Alberta and Saskatchewan, specifically in storm water and irrigation applications. EMCO Waterworks has been at the forefront of this with the Women’s Coulee Diversion project taking place outside of High River, AB, The Malloy Drain project in Coaldale, AB, and a Riverhurst Irrigation District project in Saskatchewan. The Riverhurst Irrigation District project focuses on helping farmers increase productivity, while both the Women’s Coulee Rehabilitation and the Malloy Drain projects were designed to mitigate flood waterdangers and damages.
Malloy Drain’s rehabilitation took into consideration the flooding events around Coaldale that occurred in 1995, 2002, 2005, 2010, and 2014. It was clear that the overland drainage was not adequate and that the existing combination of irrigation works, constructed drains, roadside ditches, and storm ponds needed to be looked at for a solution. A conversation between the Town of Coaldale, the County of Lethbridge and Saint Mary’s River Irrigation District began after the 2002 flooding event. Phase 1 included the upgrade of 5300 meters of drain and replacement of existing canal structures. Phase 2A involved the creation of a storm pond where large diameter IPEX pipe was supplied by EMCO Waterworks to be used in the construction of headwall structures.
The storm pond in the northwest of Coaldale was designed with consideration to the Birds of Prey Foundation and wetland areas. The goal being to replace lost wetlands and expand existing wetlands in that corner of the town. This project was tendered in September 2017, and construction commenced by Tanex(2003)Inc / Dennis’s Dirtworx. The headwall structures are designed to prevent erosion and maintain the integrity of the pond’s bank and large diameter IPEX PVC pipe was chosen due to its weight, and flow characteristics. Thirty-six meters of 1350mm pipe runs from one side of the storm bank to the other connecting it to wetlands which helps sustain an eco-system critical to Alberta. Much like the Malloy Drainage Rehabilitation Project, the Women’s Coulee Diversion Project was motivated by storm water and floods.
The Women’s Coulee Diversion project is an expansive and complicated project consisting of 3650 meters of 1350mm and 1500 meters of 1500mm large diameter PVC pipe. This Project is being supplied by EMCO Waterworks in Calgary with installation by KLS Earthworks. The Goal is to increase the amount of divertible water out of the Highwood River. After the 2013 floods where High River experienced intense flooding and tragedy in the form of lost life, and considerable property damage, as well as damage to the environment, it was clear the Highwood River needed to be addressed. With the Women’s Coulee Diversion not only is the water burden on the Highwood River lessened but the diverted water is also used in Irrigation, helping to increase farm productivity.
The Riverhurst project is being supplied by EMCO Waterworks in Saskatoon. It consists of 1000 meters of 1050mm PVC pipe used to expand the Riverhurst Irrigation District in Saskatchewan. This project will contribute to the ongoing sustainability and production of farmland within this irrigation district.
Looking at these three projects, and their use of large diameter PVC pipe, the trend in irrigation and storm water movement is shifting away from open cut canals. The superior flow characteristics of PVC, the prioritization of water security with respect to evaporation seen in open cut canals and innovations in pipe manufacturing have all contributed to large diameter pipe’s success.
EMCO Waterworks is proud to be a pillar in the supply of this innovative product to our Alberta and Saskatchewan markets. Manufacturers and Contractors who partner with EMCO as a supplier rely on the company’s successful history and its investment in the future. EMCO Waterworks has 24 locations across Western Canada.
For further information contact your nearest EMCO location, or visit: