A Utility Executive's Dream Is Realized in an Ambitious Plant Property Beautification Project

A trout pond with catch-and-release fishing is the centerpiece of a backwash treatment system of ponds and wetlands in a Saskatchewan city.

A Utility Executive's Dream Is Realized in an Ambitious Plant Property Beautification Project

Visitors to the Logan Green Trout Pond at the Queen Street Water Treatment Plant enjoy its catch-and-release venue.

The Queen Street Water Treatment Plant in the Saskatchewan city of Yorkton is far from ordinary. It’s an integral part of a large urban park called Logan Green, with hiking and biking trails, sports fields, day-use areas, natural grasslands, a tree nursery, community garden and well-stocked trout pond.

Operating since 2012, the Logan Green Water Management System polishes about 260,000 gpd of the plant’s filter backwash for reuse. The water passes through two settling ponds, three wetland ponds and finally the 10-foot deep trout pond with a meandering shoreline, before making its way to a recharge area and eventually back into the aquifer.

Active fishery

“We were one of the first communities in Canada to use settlement ponds and wetlands to treat process backwash,” says Glenda Holmes, waterworks manager. It’s an alternative to sending the filtered backwash to the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The system is more than static ponds. In 2014, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation stocked one pond with 750 rainbow trout fingerlings and flathead minnows. The pond is restocked nearly every year since, and a few broodstock trout have been added.

The Logan Green Trout Pond is a catch-and-release venue, requires no license and attracts people almost every day. “Not many days go by that we don’t see fishermen enjoying themselves,” Holmes says.

Wildlife haven

Two backwash-water settling ponds, each 5 feet deep and nearly 250 feet square, receive flow from a filter backwash pit at the 5.8 mgd water plant. It moves downstream through a wetland of natural vegetation that provides habitat for deer, raccoons, otters and other wildlife. Coots, grebes and plovers nest in the wetland, and Canada geese, magpies and ducks are commonly seen.

Overburden from excavating a 4-million-gallon reservoir and the ponds at the water plant was used to create six multiuse athletic fields, which are popular with the Yorkton Soccer Association. A 34,000-square-foot community garden includes 20 plots leased by residents.

A Memorial Tree Park near the city cemetery provides a space for families and friends to commemorate a loved one. A tree can be planted or a small plaque installed on a pedestal at the park entrance. With contributions from the Rotary Club of Yorkton, shrubs have been planted and seating installed.

More than 30 varieties of trees and shrubs thrive in the 210-acre Logan Green Park. They include pine, spruce, elm, olive, willow, walnut, ash and birch. Some of differing sizes are managed and transplanted to sustain the tree population throughout the city.

Scenic trail

A 5-foot-wide pathway with an improved surface winds for 3 miles through the park. Benches and garbage containers are placed along the corridor. The path is part of the Great Trail, a 15,000-mile cross-Canada link of waterways, roadways and greenways reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans.

Planning for the award-winning Logan Green Water Management System was a collaboration of entities such as the Yorkton Wildlife Association, the Yorkton Soccer Association, Ducks Unlimited, the provincial Ministry of the Environment, the Centre for Sustainable Research, professional engineering firms and representatives of numerous city departments.

The concept was to use a single plant to receive all raw water, rather than divert flow to three older plants, which have since been decommissioned. Michael Buchholzer, Yorkton’s director of environmental services, spearheaded a series of public meetings and got input from residents about the proposed water plant and pond system.

It was Buchholzer whose vision of natural water treatment included the stocked trout pond for the public’s enjoyment. “The goal was to produce advanced water treatment at one environmental area supported by our residents and not increase the load on our wastewater plant,” Holmes says. “And it sure looks like we did it.”


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