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Chateh is a First Nations community located in the Dene Tha’ Reserve Land of remote northwestern Alberta. Previously known as Assumption, this community, like so many Indigenous-populated areas in Canada, lacked potable water for many years. With the introduction of new design requirements, instituted by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), our firm was consulted to design a water treatment facility that would serve the Chateh community long into the future.


In 2016, the Government of Canada committed to end all long-term drinking water advisories in Indigenous and First Nations communities. The commitment includes improving on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure, ensuring the proper operation and maintenance of facilities, and providing training to water system operators. Our design was one of the first to reflect these new requirements and to be instituted successfully. The Chateh Water Treatment Plant means new hope and improved safety and well-being for community residents.


In order to improve the life cycle of the treatment facility and to reduce long-term costs, we made the design as compact as possible, reducing embodied energy of building materials, and integrating renewable energy sources. The resulting building operates using 62% less energy and costs 65% less than a typical building of its type. Ultimately, the project delivers excellent water quality while exceeding both Health Canada and INAC’s standards.


Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards – Award of Excellence (2011)

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