Originally published in AE Today Newsletter, December 1973
Construction of the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant in Edmonton officially started on October 25th at a special sod-turning ceremony conducted his His Worship, Mayor Dent. This treatment plant is named in honour of Mr. Eugene L. Smith, who pioneered modern water treatment for the City of Edmonton.
Designed by Associated Engineering, the facility is situated on a 75-acre site on the north bank of the North Saskatchewan River with a construction cost of $21,000,000. The first stage will have a water treatment capacity of 151,416,400 litres per day. Three more stages are planned in the future to provide an ultimate capacity of 605,666,000 litres per day, which will become the largest individual treatment and softening plant in Canada.
This facility will have the ability to filter the water through beds of crushed anthracite coal and carefully selected grades of fine silica sand. The water will be disinfected by a closely controlled application of chlorine.
One architectural feature of the plant also serves a practical purpose. The clarifier basins have been enclosed with walls and roof, one of a very few such designs in North America. This permits a homogeneous architectural treatment and facilitates the treatment process during the long winter months - heat is retained in the river water, minimizing the amount of heat that will have to be added from external sources. The plant is to be constructed almost entirely of concrete. It will have nearly 174,00 square feet of roof. Construction is to be completed in late 1975. This project will employ an average of 300 people.