Mini Lakes promises to get wastewater treatment plant in compliance

PUSLINCH – The condomimium corporation that operates Mini Lakes in Puslinch, now the Wellington Common Elements Condominium Corporation #214, has promised the township it is working towards getting its wastewater treatment plant into compliance.

A delegation from the corporation spoke to Puslinch council at its Oct. 18 meeting.

Steve Conway, of GM Blueplan Engineering Ltd., the firm hired by the township, pointed out that the condo lands have been out of compliance with their wastewater system for years.

His report noted the following:

– nitrate concentration levels in the effluent remain above the compliance limit;

– total phosphorus levels appear to be rising year over year since 2017;

– nitrate concentration levels in the effluent remain above the compliance limit;

– the annual average effluent total suspended solids concentration was above the effluent compliance limit; and

– concerns related to the presence of standing water and sludge breakthrough in the vicinity of the five sewage disposal beds, first identified in 2018, continued to be an issue.

In his report, Conway writes that Associated Engineering (AE) was retained in September 2020 to conduct design services for proposed upgrades to the wastewater system at Mini Lakes and in 2022 it recommended that the Membrane Aerated Bioreactor Reactor (MABR) option is the most practical solution.

“We have been reviewing this over 10 years and since 2017, you have been non-compliant,” Conway said. “There have been tweaks – band aid repairs. Our question is when will this be corrected?”

“We decided to go with MABR,” said Sonya Semanuik, with Ontario Clean Water Association (OCWA), that operates the wastewater system on behalf of the condo corporation.

OCWA took over operations of the system in 2017.

“We anticipate moving the tile beds in 2024 and installing the new treatment plant in 2025.”

Semanuik noted that OCWA has a portable treatment facility it can bring to the site to use as backup if the current system has a failure in the next two years.

“We have been pivoting,” she said. “I think we are on a path now.”

Mayor James Seeley noted that the condo corporation was ready to move on this a few years ago but was voted down by its members.

“I want confidence the board has the authority to move this,” he said.

Board president Judy Dawson-Kiez said the board recently passed a borrowing bylaw, “and we have $5 million available to us,” she said. “We will borrow as required to fund the wastewater treatment plant. This is going forward.”

Dawson-Kiez said the board has a reserve fund for water and wastewater and all 292 units pay into it.

 “We should have it paid off in less than 10 years,” she said.

Council received the delegation and reports for information and requested quarterly updates.