Joe Clifford, Graham Bertrand, Clem Bernier,- water plant employees
Official opening ceremonies for the new Chapleau water treatment plant were held on October 21, 1976, although it did not go into full operation until January 25, 1977.
The plant, built by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for the municipality at a cost of $1.7 million, replaced the pump house which had been built circa 1910. In due course, the pump house became the home of the Chapleau Air Cadets.
At the same time that the plant was being built, $500,000 was spent replacing old water mains, according to William Gibson of the ministry. Murray Cheetham of the environment ministry was master of ceremonies.
With the launch of the new water treatment plant, there was no further need for the water storage tank located on the hill on Elgin Street, near the CPR station. It was demolished but not before it buckled in some places, causing a scare in the community in 1977.
Floyd Laughren the NDP MPP for Nickel Belt which included Chapleau, was present to participate in the opening ceremonies.
The water plant project was initiated in 1967 when T.C. "Terry" Way-White was the reeve, and by 1972 an agreement had been reached between the province and the municipality which was confirmed by the Ontario Municipal Board.
Clem Bernier, First water plant superintendent
Mr. Laughren said he was pleased to be in Chapleau for the water plant opening, adding that he had attended a recent Habitat conference in Vancouver where "pure water" was felt to be the greatest need of people.
Rev. William Ivey of St. John's Anglican Church and Rev. Donald Maclean of Trinity United Church offered prayers.
Clem Bernier was the first superintendent of the water plant while Graham Bertrand and Joe Clifford were the operators.
The water treatment system for the community provided for 1.2 million gallons a day, with the three reservoirs able to hold about three quarters of a million gallons in case of an emergency, which would last about four hours.
The plant included its own generator which started automatically in case of an electrical power failure.
Water was taken from the Kebsquasheshing River into a raw water well inside the plant.
The plant was staffed eight hours a day, and for the remaining hours the equipment operated automatically. In the event of an emergency, alarms would sound and staff contacted immediately.
Tours of the new plant were popular for school children. They would be conducted by the plant employees. My email is email@example.com