Municipality scraps mandatory disconnect in Huron Ridge
By Liz Dadson
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Kincardine council has scrapped a proposed mandatory disconnect program in the Huron Ridge subdivision.
Last year, the proposal was to force all homeowners in the subdivision to disconnect their residential foundation footing and storm drainage inflows, to ensure no "clean" storm water was entering the municipal sewage system.
That angered most of the residents, and a public meeting in November prompted even more questions from the residents which went unanswered by the public works manager at that time.
Chief administrative officer Murray Clarke, acting public works manager, told council in committee-of-the-whole Wednesday night (Jan. 22), that the multi-million-dollar project to reconstruct water, sewer and storm drainage systems in the Huron Ridge subdivision has had some impact.
The new perforated storm drainage system is expected to divert infiltration flows from the sanitary system, said Clarke.
In addition, there is empirical evidence that the reconstruction works and new storm water systems have lowered the static groundwater level significantly, resulting in reduced drainage flows into the sanitary system.
The data regarding which properties have drainage connections to the sanitary system is imprecise, he said. And flows recorded at the Connaught Park sewage pumping station have indicated a reduction in peak flows in recent years, but no significant reduction in average day flows.
Consequently, said Clarke, staff and the engineering consulting team are suggesting an alternate approach. Rather than imposing a mandatory disconnect protocol at this time, the option is to install a number of additional piezometers (groundwater monitoring wells) and implement a systematic monitoring protocol for a 24- to 36-month period.
The piezometers will be installed as weather permits, said Clarke. Plus, the sewage flows into the Connaught pumping station will continue to be measured to determine to what extent the stormwater diversion has impacted inflow volumes.
As well, he said, efforts will be made to identify the specific properties which have drainage connections to the sanitary system, and what, if any, remedial works may be indicated.
To this end, all video data has been provided to the engineering consultant, B.M. Ross and Associates, to initiate this investigation.
The financial impact will be about $5,000 for additional groundwater monitoring wells and additional resources. These costs will be borne by the wastewater budget.
Councillor Randy Roppel said the only thing not addressed is how to respond to a sewage spill downstream from the subdivision.
Clarke said this week there has been some conversation started with the proponent of the West Ridge on the Lake property (Hartwick Farm) north of Huron Ridge on Bruce County Road 23 (B-line).
"If that proceeds," said Clarke, "then the sanitary sewer pipe (across the golf course property) will have to be made larger, and the pumping capacity at the Connaught pumping station improved."
"But, in all fairness, people have been affected in the past (by sewage spills)," said Roppel.
Deputy mayor Anne Eadie said public works would take a look at that issue.
Councillor Jacqueline Faubert said that council included in this year's budget a fancy $80,000 camera to go through all the pipes in Huron Ridge.
She also asked if there is any protocol in place to receive public feedback on council's decision.
"There is a clear understanding with the stakeholders in the Huron Ridge subdivision and downstream residents, of this decision," said Clarke, noting that Jim Bagshaw still has some concerns and will be bringing those to council at a future meeting.
"We are in imminent danger of flooding this spring," said councillor Kenneth Craig. "Does anybody living downstream (from this subdivision) take any comfort from this report?"
Mayor Larry Kraemer said that Faubert brought up the issue of council purchasing a camera to check the pipes in the subdivision.
"We need to identify what properties are not causing problems and release those landowners so they have clear closure on this issue," he said, "and at the end of the monitoring period, we should make a clear decision to release the rest of the properties."
Eadie also called for a definitive timeline to receive a report from staff on the monitoring results of Huron Ridge.
"As staff collects data, they should undertake to report back to council at intervals with updates on those properties that are not connected to the sanitary system," said councillor Maureen Couture. "Then, we would have to revisit the disconnect issue as an incentive for those where the disconnect should happen."
Committee-of-the-whole agreed to abandon the mandatory disconnect at this time and proceed with the groundwater monitoring.
Also, as properties are identified as not connected to the sanitary system, those properties would be released; and a report should come back to council by the end of the two-year monitoring period before a decision is made to extend the monitoring for a third year.
Council endorsed that decision later in the meeting.
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Sunday, January 26, 2014