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Irrigation network upgrade

Posted on April 23, 2015 by Westwind Weekly

By Karlene Skretting
Westwind Weekly News

During Magrath’s April 14 council meeting, council discussed the possibility of purchasing a 300 micron filtration system for the communities underground irrigation network.
“It has always been suggested that the Town should probably have one large filter that filters all the irrigation water that comes into town. It would make our system a lot more efficient and everybody wouldn’t have to purchase an individual filter,” said Mayor Russ Barnett during the meeting.
The biggest reason the town is considering the purchase is so that there will be less issues for people in town who use the irrigation system.
A 300 micron filter would keep weeds, algae, fish, snails and most seeds, particles and other obstructions from entering the irrigation system and protect residents irrigation systems.
Council shared examples of the above mentioned debris in their personal lines that clog filters, hoses and sprinklers because the irrigation water right now is not filter.
The fact that the irrigation water is currently not filtered affects everyone to some extent, noted Barnett, pointing out that the end of the line is often the worst and most people currently have to purchase and install an irrigation filter on their own dime.
The filtration system would also enable the Magrath Fire Department to use the main irrigation line to fight fires, pointed out, Trevor Millward, operations manager. He noted that this is cheaper than using potable water from the fire hydrants.
It will also save taxpayer dollars by enabling the town’s equipment to water roads and flower baskets with irrigation water instead of treated water purchased from the Water Commission.
Neither the Fire Department or Town’s equipment can use unfiltered irrigation water, as it would clog nozzles and other components.
As part of the upgrade, the town would run a six-inch line outside where the current irrigation is set up on Fifth St. West, explained Mayor Barnett. This would provide a convenient location for both the Town and Fire Department to hook up to.
Purchasing the filter has been on council’s radar for the past 10 years, but the costs have recently went down and made it more cost affective for the community to go ahead with the purchase.
“The cost has come down about $20,000 recently,” said Millward, adding that a 300 micron filter would lead to “pretty clean irrigation water.”
The estimated life expectancy of the filter is approximately 20 years. The system will have brushes and be self-cleaning.
To cover the $30,000 cost of the system, council is considering a one-time charge of $40.00 attached to the May 2015 utility bill for every resident or business that has irrigation service to their property. With the goal to hopefully have the system in place by the middle of May when the irrigation water will be turned on.
During the April 14 meeting, council unanimously passed a motion to have administration write and mail a separate letter to inform the public about the consideration of purchasing the filtration system for the irrigation. Letters were sent out on April 16 to Town of Magrath property owners.
If you have questions or concerns about the filtration systems, individuals are encouraged to write the Town a letter or send an email to
A decision will be made about whether or not to purchase the filtration system during the next regularly scheduled Council meeting on Tuesday, April 28 at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend and express their opinions.

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