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Wellington North councillors want answers from engineering firm

by Kris Svela

KENILWORTH - Wellington North council wants to meet with Triton Engineering officials before deciding whether to seek the services of another engineering firm regarding the Arthur sewage treatment plant.

The issue was raised at council on Oct. 3 in a report submitted  by councillor Andy Lennox about a meeting he had with Ministry of the   Environment (MOE) officials in mid-September.

According to the report, as well as a follow-up letter from an MOE official, Triton has not provided  the ministry with sufficient information on how a re-rating of the  sewage treatment plant could be done to allow for more treated  effluent to be discharged into the Conestogo River.

Effluent now is collected in holding ponds for about six months before being released   into the river during high flows.

“MOE staff expressed frustration with not getting adequate or timely documentation from Triton Engineering to support re-rating,” Lennox, a member of the township’s water/sewer committee, said in his report.

At its Sept. 27 meeting the committee called for the hiring of a  firm to prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) to invite technical consulting firms to prepare a comprehensive strategy with steps and expense estimates to address the  sewage capacity in Arthur.

The committee also called on Triton officials to explain “the number and extent of deficiencies in their submission to MOE on the township’s  behalf.”

Lennox said the committee was looking for a “second opinion on the waste water management issue.” According to him, the process has been   underway since 2008 with little progress on the re-rating.

Councillor Dan Yake rejected sending out proposals without first meeting with Triton, which has been the township’s engineering firm for many years.

The company, according to Yake, is currently doing other unrelated work in Mount Forest and Arthur.

“I’m afraid if we send out RFPs it’s telling Triton we don’t agree with what they’ve done,” Yake said. “Triton has put a lot of work into this and I think we need to give Triton an opportunity to at least defend themselves.”

Mayor Ray Tout said, “This process has been ongoing since 2008 with little progress. I’m concerned about that.”

Yake was also critical of the mayor for not being more involved when the issue was originally raised at the meeting with MOE officials.

“You, as mayor, should have been involved in these conversations,” Yake said, referring to the report released by Lennox.

Councillor Sherri Burke said she could support deferring the matter of sending out proposals, as suggested by Yake, as long  as the issue with Triton was dealt with quickly.

When reached for comment, Triton engineer Christine Furlong said, “We are in receipt of a copy of the letter from the MOE and plan to work with the township and the MOE to resolve the issues raised in the letter.”

Council will meet with Triton officials at a water/sewer meeting on Nov. 2.


October 14, 2011


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