Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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CNR Depot looking west CNR Depot looking west


At first water was carried by pail from a few wells in the town. During 1912 Mr. A. Lindstrom established a water route by driving a water tank through the town. Wherever he saw a red flag on the line it was a signal for a delivery of water. The barrels were usually placed outside in summer and in the kitchen during the winter. It took about 16 pails of water to fill a barrel. For many years water was supplied at 25 cents a barrel.

On November 13, 1913 Mr. Lindstrom disposed of his water route to Ed. Evans. Later Ray Grantham assisted by Elvin Churchill were popular "Water Men".

The year 1985 will probably be remembered as the year when Hanna made its largest leap forward. That was the year the town finally achieved a secure supply of water through its pipeline connection to the Red Deer River.

In about 1939, the town fathers thought enough already and launched into a project which would bring sewer and water to every household. This included drilling a deep well at the site of the water tower. The water was pumped up the stand pipe and distributed through the mains to residents and business all over town. It was a magnificent improvement, but there were still some major problems. Most important, there were times when the well just couldn't meet the demand, and as the town grew after World War II, it became necessary to develop additional sources of water. It was at this time that Larry Helmer and the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration swung into action and built the Helmer-Dam Fox lake storage reservoirs to capture run-off water for use in the town. While these supplies served the town well, the water had a distinctly alkali flavor to it and at times in the drier years the supply was marginal.

The break through came in 1979 when it was decided to increase the size of the pipeline from the Red Deer River to Sheerness where a large cooling pond was to be built to serve the power generating station. The increase in size from 36 inches to 42 inches on the pipeline provided for water for the town of Hanna along with some of stock watering and small irrigation projects along the way.

It looked great on paper but the town was short the $3 million it required to complete the job. After much lobbying by town council and special committees established by the town an agreement was struck whereby both the provincial and federal governments would contribute equally to the cost of the line. As it turned out governments contributed 45 percent each and the town came up with the remaining 10 percent. The historic agreement was reached in June 1984.

Work on the project began that summer and by late in the fall, the line was hooked up to the water treatment plant bringing security of water to Hanna for once and for all. The new water supply was taken from the pipe a little south of the Sheerness plant and stored in a separate reservoir built by the town. This is because the main pipeline is not pumping all of the time so the reservoir is topped up during those periods when it is. A 12 inch line brings the water to Hanna where it is processed at the town's new $6 million water treatment plant. The water supply has had a salutary effect on the mood of towns folk. No longer is there a threat of water rationing, no longer is water supply a major factor in either projects will proceed. It has brought a feeling of confidence and wellbeing to the town. It is without question the most important event to take place in the town's long history.

Text courtesy of The Hanna Herald