Master Plan to open capacity, room for growth

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Clearview council got a progress update from consultants RJ Burnside this week on a new Water and Wastewater Master Servicing Plan for Creemore.

Wastewater engineer Jeff Langlois told council that the assignment is to develop a cost effective plan that will consider the needs of the existing service area and areas of future growth to 2042 and beyond.

In his presentation to council, Langlois broke the plan down into two sections; The current water supply system has a capacity of 2,688 m3 per day and services 545 water accounts. Langlois says a range of options has been considered – everything from doing nothing or hoping that water conservation measures can reduce demand all the way to a brand new system. On the supply side, Burnside is leaning toward expansion of the existing system. This could include connections to adjacent systems in Stayner or New Lowell, connection to a surface water source or the preferred solution, new ground water well(s) in the village of Creemore. Preliminary testing of a potential new well is already underway. There is also a deficit in terms of water storage which Burnside is recommending would be best dealt with by creating additional storage at the reservoir site on Collingwood Street.

The wastewater part of the plan is a major bottleneck for new development. The current system was designed to handle 1400 m3 per day, but has never performed at that level. It currently operates at approximately 420 m3 per day. Langlois says even if it were operating at the 1400 m3 level, it would still not be enough to handle projected growth. Step one will be to get the existing system working to capacity.

The best longer term solutions appear to be expanding the current system to treat 2100 m3 per day at the existing location or building a new system at a new location and retiring the current plant. Any expansion beyond the current 1400 m3 capacity will require a Schedule C Environmental assessment, although Langlois says expanding at the current site will require less extensive testing than a whole new location.

Langlois says the Ministry of the Environment is unlikely to approve a change away from membrane filtration technology.

“The existing Creemore plant was the first membrane bio reactor plan built in Ontario and membranes are still leading edge in waste water treatment,” he said.

He does note that the technology has improved since installation of the Creemore plant with many improvements to address maintenance and operational challenges.

Members of the public can get a look at the draft plan at a Public Information Centre to be held at the Creemore Arena on Thursday, Dec. 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Following the Public Information Centre, the plan will be updated to include feedback. Once the report is issued, the public will have a further 30 days to comment.

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