Berens River Water Treatment Plant Upgrade

The proposed project site (the Water Treatment Plant Site, the Site) is located in Berens River First Nation on an unsurveyed land parcel on Berens River Indian Reserve No. 13 (Canada Land Survey Record 52163) (UTM Coordinates UTM 14U 637135 m E, 5801715 m N).

The existing water treatment plant (WTP) is supplied from a surface water intake located in Berens River, approximately 50 m south of the existing WTP pump station. The existing water treatment and distribution system is approximately 22 years old and consists of a WTP and PVC watermains, servicing approximately 80 of the 280 homes with a truck fill station and trucked water servicing the remainder of the homes. The capacity of the existing WTP is insufficient to meet community demand and is in need of repairs and upgrading to meet water quality requirements.

The proposed WTP upgrade project (the Project) consists of the following components:

  • Refurbishment of the water treatment plant (WTP) main level, including removal/demolition and reconfiguration of existing equipment within the existing building.
  • Installation of new equipment inside the WTP building, including an Ion Exchange system, an ultrafiltration membrane system, a chemical feed (consisting of 12.5% sodium hypochlorite solution), and UV disinfection.
  • Expansion and refurbishment of the belowground reservoir to increase the storage capacity from 900 m3 to 1,505 m3 using cast-in-place reinforced concrete, with waterproofing mixed in the concrete and damp proofing on the exterior of underground walls.
  • Expansion of the existing WTP building to the east by 18.5 m and to the south by 20.6 m (providing an additional 420 m2 of floor space) to accommodate the expanding reservoir and workspaces (e.g., office/laboratory, washroom, chemical room, water truck dispatch office).
  • Demolition of an abandoned residential building approximately 10 m east of the WTP building to accommodate the WTP expansion.
  • Upgrades to the WTP electrical, instrumentation, and heating/ventilation systems.
  • Installation of a new distribution pumping system consisting of two distribution pumps (30 L/s each), one jockey pump (10 L/s), and two fire pumps (64 L/s).
  • Installation of a new water intake structure and pipeline (approximately 50 m in length) at the same location in Berens River (parallel to the existing intake pipeline) (Appendix B; Figure 4). The new water intake will consist of a new 300 mm high density polyethylene (HDPE) diameter intake pipeline (increasing the capacity from 30 L/s to 79 L/s), a new intake structure (complete with an air scouring system, chemical cleaning system, and zebra mussel repellant coating), and upgrading the existing wet well. The proposed installation will involve:
    • Ice thickening (so all work can be done off of the ice in winter) using tracked excavation equipment to excavate into the water
    • Installing a silt curtain under the water starting from shore and working outward to mitigate trapping fish in the work area
    • Excavating a trench (approximately 30 m long) and laying the pipe and intake once the trench is complete. The remaining 20 m will be laid on the river bottom with weights to counteract buoyancy
    • Placing excavated soil from trenching back into the trench
    • Removing excess soil from the ice
    • Placing rip rap on the shoreline and removing silt fencing
  • Repairing the existing intake structure and isolating it for future emergency use. Repairs to the existing intake pipeline are minor and include adding additional concrete weights, and closing the isolation valve.
  • Replacing the existing 26 m long, 100 mm diameter pipeline connecting the wet well to the WTP, with a new 200 m diameter pipeline.
  • Connecting the two adjacent houses on the east and south side of the site to the sewer and water infrastructure via 32 mm HDPE sewer main and 19 mm HDPE water main.
  • Installation of approximately 100 m of 150 mm HDPE watermain and 38 mm HDPE sewer main to service the adjacent truck garage and two houses.
  • Replacement of the existing indoor, 180 kW emergency generator with an outdoor, 250 kW diesel generator with sub-base double walled fuel storage tank (clad in a weatherproof enclosure).
  • Construction of a new drive-through truck fill station with a heated concrete pad.
  • Construction of a 18m x 26 m truck garage located 25 m north the WTP with septic pump and connections to existing wastewater and water infrastructure.
  • General facility improvements including:
    • replacement of toilet, sink, shower, mop sink, washer, dryer, ad hot water tank
    • repair and replacement of hatch lids to facilitate closing and securing of hatches
    • raising of the reservoir overflow pipe to increase available reservoir storage in existing cells
    • installation of vents for each existing reservoir cell
    • upgrades to the closed-circuit television monitoring equipment to the new office/laboratory



This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Latest update

June 23, 2022 – Indigenous Services Canada issued its notice of determination and determined that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.


Key documents

Key documents
Document Number Document Title File Date
2 Notice of Determination for the Berens River Water Treatment Plant Upgrade - June 23, 2022
1 Public Comment Period on Intent to Make a Determination - December 29, 2021


Indigenous Services Canada
Angela Bidinosti, Senior Environmental Officer
200-365 Hargrave Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 3A3
Telephone: 204-984-0964
Fax: 204-983-2936

  • Location

    • Berens River First Nation (Manitoba)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Water Management
  • Assessment Status

  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Berens River First Nation
  • Authorities

    • Indigenous Services Canada
    • Infrastructure Canada
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
Date modified: