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Sewage Treatment

The Tutela area, where Phase I Riverbend is planned, does not have sewage infrastructure.  The developer proposes a septic style system consisting of 8 acres of weeping tiles and a 4000 foot pumping station.  This system will be located on the developers own lands ON PRISTINE FARMLAND.   The area study for Tutela Heights provided by Stantec shows a design capacity of the sewage treatment system of 366,000 liters of water, per day – up to 133,590,000 liters of treated sewage per year potentiallydischarged to surrounding surface soils and will ultimately find its way to the Grand River, according to FAQ’s on the Walton Riverbend website (depending on which answer you study)

For context, 133,590,000 litres of treated sewage per year represents:

  1. The equivalent of 66 milk tankers PER DAY, 365 days per year
    1. On surface soils in the Tutela area
  2. 2190 large back yard swimming pools

In review of earlier studies conducted by Stantec for the developer, the study reviews three potential options for sewage treatment

  1. Sewage treatment facility at Cainsville
  2. Onsite wastewater treatment facility with surface discharge
    1. Outlet to onsite watercourse
    2. Outlet to Grand River
  3. Onsite wastewater treatment facility with subsurface discharge

The report then goes on to say that the Cainsville option is a longer term option with a larger servicing capacity (therefor not an option for the present time). 

The same report states that given the potential sensitivity of the Grand River, the current wastewater plants currently discharging to the Grand River, and the new water intake to be constructed at Ohsweken, the treatment levels required may be difficult and costly to meet.  (The treatment referred to here is “treatment which would include but not be limited to ammonia reduction, phosphorus reduction, disinfection, etc.”)

The report goes on to state that the third alternative is anticipated to be the most cost effective method and would require the least time to complete the necessary studies, obtain approvals and construct.

So while it appears that the third option is the most preferable given the alternatives, residents are facing the second, least preferable option. 

Why?  The soils in the Tutela area are very deep clay.  It is extremely difficult for treated sewage to penetrate the surface of this clay – it is virtually impermeable. 

Those volumes of treated sewage will be processed through SURFACE soils.

Why is this a concern?

  1. What is the impact of this much new treated sewage being introduced into this area every day on the existing residences
  2. What is the impact of this much new treated sewage being introduced into this area every day on the existing wildlife in the area
  3. Existing residents have a personal connection to their septic systems and are cautious about what they put into them (ie: cleaners, oils, personal care items, toxins)
    1. Will new residents have the same connection to a communal system?
    2. Do city residents have this connection to municipal systems?
  4. Odors are a concern
  5. Noise is a concern
  6. Aesthetics are a concern – who wants to look at a pumping station on beautiful farmland?
Ongoing maintenance costs are a concern – will taxes to maintain this system be limited to those people living on the system or will those costs be spread among all the county residents?

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