Dear Editor:

The Town of Erin is in a huge rush to push through a questionable sewage treatment plant at the expense of its residents and the environment.

It is interesting to note that this plant was originally called a WWTP (wastewater treatment plant) until the Coalition for the West Credit River questioned the design and asked for river monitoring. Now, arbitrarily, Nick Colucci, director of infrastructure services, calls it a “resource recovery facility”.  

What does this mean?  Is it “greenwashing” so that the plant looks better than it is or does he plan to actually recover all the valuable resources going into that plant?  How does he propose to recover and use the heat from the sewage?  How does he plan to recover and use the solids?  How does he plan to recover and re-use the water?

The original estimate for the plant was roughly $64,000,000. The bids that were received this week are approximately $115,000,000 and $119,000,000 plus HST.

 The town still has on its website the following information about individual costs for homes and businesses:

– average capital cost: $15,000 to $18,000 (this amount will be payable after the house has been connected, payments can be spread out over 10 to 15 years);

– average connection cost: $4,000 to $8,000; and

– annual average user cost: $500 to $600.

If the cost to build the plant have doubled, then the cost to pay for the pipe in the road may have doubled to $30,000 to $36,000 per home.

In addition, the connection cost probably has also doubled from $8,000 to $16,000.  Some homes may need a pump to push the sewage to the street and this pump and the cost of a generator in case of a power outage is not included in the town’s estimates. Also there is the cost to disconnect and decommission your sceptic system.

Some people have already gotten estimates for their homes and even the high end price of $16,000 is not close to the quotes they have received.

I strongly suggest that you get a contractor to provide a quote to connect to the future town sewer and to disconnect and decommission your sceptic tank.

The annual user fees that the town charges will go up each year.  With a septic tank, most only need to be pumped every three to four years.

 Ontario average cost for septic tank pumping is $575. A 3,000L (800 gallon) tank would cost between $450 and $500. A 6,000L (1500 Gallon) tank would be between $500 and $575.    

The Erin sewage treatment plant and the bylaw amendment are not done deals. Get out and state your objections and then vote out the present mayor and council.

David Lewis,