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Minto staff to review sewage study

by Kris Svela

MINTO - A major water study on the impact heavy rain runoff is having on the town’s sewage treatment plant was reviewed by Minto council on July 5.

Council heard from consultant Dave Hicknell, of Gamsby and Mannerow Engineers, on work needed to limit runoff from properties that is pushing the plant to overcapacity during heavy rains.

The study deals with surface water and groundwater and detecting from where water is originating. It will now go to town staff who are expected to put recommendations to council on what work needs to be done.

Despite ongoing efforts to reduce runoff getting into the town’s water treatment system, only about 45 building lots could realistically be added to 85 previously-approved lots before pushing the system past acceptable capacity limits.

While the system theoretically has enough uncommitted hydraulic reserve capacity for another 288 lots at 100 per cent capacity, Ministry of the Environment guidelines recommend suspending building permits once 80 per cent capacity is reached.

The study found several mainline sewers “leaking badly,” Hicknell said, which has prompted repairs. The repairs resulted in a reduction in flows.

“The overall flows were being reduced,” Hicknell said. “One hundred and twenty-one lots could be developed, plus 110 already allocated.”

The study also included looking at water coming from some 220 properties that could be leaching into the sewer system rather than being directed away in the storm water system.

“What we need to look at is in-flow from houses,” Hicknell told  council. “We don’t know where the pipes are, where they go and where they are connected. It’s not an easy fix due to the fact it’s private property.”

The consultant said “there could be some funding assistance for  homeowners to redirect water flows from their homes.” Just replacing laterals from each home could cost $3,500, he said.

The consultant also suggested more information is needed to inform property owners about the costs incurred by heavy water flows to the  plant and what is needed to  reduce flows.

“One of my recommendations is a public information program because people don’t realize it’s costing them money,” he added. “The sewer   system is over 100 years old and it is a problem.”

The study also outlined several projects, including full sanitary and storm water replacement of Inkerman Street, estimated at $460,000. In  all, some $1.5-million in projects is contained in the study.

Deputy Mayor Terry Fisk suggested the study could assist council in prioritizing and budgeting for work to be done. Mayor George Bridge said he and council will wait for a staff report on the study.


July 15, 2011


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