Fed money goes to water upgrades at Kitimat fish hatchery

The Kitimat hatchery has accessed some funding which will improve their water aeration, among other projects.

The Kitimat Hatchery has been given access to a pot of over $13 million from the federal government to do some key upgrades to its water system.

The federal government announced the funding on October 3, which said that select facilities would be provided $13.8 million — in total for all places — to refurbish water supply systems.

The Kitimat Hatchery has already moved ahead on some key projects, some which are already done and others they are still waiting for the bids on.

A project already done has provided the hatchery with two new pumps for their river water collection.

The project also included a river water bypass line. Previously the hatchery would aerate its river water as it does with its ‘harder’ well water. River water however is already well aerated and so a new line was built to save the trouble of pumping it up its water tower.

The aeration tower itself will be given a fairly extensive rebuild as well.

As it is now, water is pumped straight to the top and dropped through an aeration system which natural oxidizes the water.

New technology will achieve the same result but with a difference of 10 feet.

Hatchery manager Markus Feldhoff said dropping the height requirements by 10 feet may not sound like a lot but it saves considerable wear on the pumps and will mean tremendous cost savings.

Work to the incubation room inside the hatchery will also take place, which will install a re-circulation water system as well as a chiller system. The chiller will be useful for instances where hatchery staff will have to slow the growth of fish to reduce bottle necks in releasing to the river. There’s also a natural marking system for fish that requires water at certain temperatures.

The hatchery will also update its own potable drinking water system. Their water is not on District of Kitimat supply and while their water is tested regularly the new filtration systems will enhance its reliability.