The annual drinking water report was brought out during the latest city council meeting, detailing recent water usage and updates to Estevan's system.

During the meeting, the council also took the opportunity to look at what would be happening this year for their water system.

Shane Bucsis, Water and Wastewater Service manager for Estevan, said that 2023 wasn't a very notable year in terms of the city's water.

"It was a pretty average year. We did have the taste and odour issue. We found running the water through the pipeline at night because the plant is only on for so many hours a day, I ran the pipeline at night to make sure that we flush that water out so the water wasn't becoming stagnant, and that seemed to help."

Otherwise, an increase in hardness over the year wasn't too challenging and was handled by household appliances.

"The only other thing to note is that we have seen an increase in hardness, it's sitting above 320," said Bucsis, "I think when we first brought it online, it was sitting around 220. So people can address their softeners as needed for that. Other than that, it's been a pretty average year, things that break we fix and just produce water." 

Bucsis says one update coming in 2024 will be a replacement of a troubled pump at the water treatment plant.

"This year we are allocating to replace pump three at the water treatment plant. I've been replacing actuators as required. We had one of our distribution flow meters fail, I redid the meter and the piping, a whole bunch of piping upstream of it started to leak and spray all over the place so that will be replaced with pump three." 

Councillor Lindsay Clark asked Bucsis how volumes have changed over the 2023 year.

"I've noticed that this last summer was increased from the year previous because we had rain, more so in spring. The main demand is over the summer months, our flows double to two point five times more. I find if it's a wetter spring people water their lawns longer and if it's a dry spring, people just kind of give up on their lawns or don't want to pay the water bill, so that's generally what I find with the flow so they're staying pretty consistent throughout the year."