Questions surrounding the new wastewater treatment facility
During the March 28 meeting held about Gander’s new wastewater treatment facility, residents had the opportunity to ask questions surrounding the upcoming project. The response provided came from CBCL’s civil engineer Greg Sheppard and environmental biologist Melissa Rutherford.
The following is a selection of questions asked during the meeting.
Q : Will it shut down the Magee Road facility?
A: (Sheppard) Yes. Two existing sites – Magee Road and Beaverwood – with the plan to pipe to the new facility and discharge the treated water into Whitman’s Pond.
Q : How many years from now until we can stop holding our nose on Magee Road?
A: (Sheppard) We are on a good roll now. We are at the stage where the project has funding. We are now working on the environmental assessment. Depending on how long this process takes, it may not happen until next spring. But we are doing everything we possibly can to break ground this fall.
Q : With Magee running near capacity, what’s the mitigation plan in the event of it overflowing?
A: (Sheppard) Other than building a plant and transferring over to the new site, it’s about all that can be done. So we’ve got to try and get this project up and running ASAP.
Q : How was the new location determined?
A: (Sheppard) Early in the process we went through a site selection process. Some of the key drivers around that was the Department of Environment outlining that sewage couldn’t be discharged into Gander Lake waters, so it ruled out a number of locations. At the end of the day it came down to economics in terms of where it would be placed.
Q : The area selected has a lot of new residential growth, is there any concern about overlap?
A: (Sheppard) We have a buffer around the site ultimately, and in working with the town, they are comfortable that the planned site will be able to accommodate the further growth, that is if that area of Gander continues to grow.
Q : How far is it from the residential area?
A: (Sheppard) It’s almost two kilometres from Cooper Boulevard.
Q : How will this affect Whitman’s Pond?
A: (Rutherford) Regardless of the treatment method to be selected, it has meet discharge requirements. Which will be in line with wastewater federal regulations.
Q : Whitman’s Pond feeds into Jonathan’s Pond. Any impact expected?
A: (Rutherford) The short answer is no, as we are going to be discharging a better quality of water than is being discharged to it now. So we expect there will be no impact.
Q :Can you explain the piping?
A: (Sheppard) Right now we have Beaverwood and Magee, so we are going to pipe the sewage to the new location, but there are areas being developed so we have to be very careful. We’ll work with the town to put the sewers in a location that doesn’t prohibit future development. We’ll bring it across from Beaverwood and Magee and at some point it will have to be pumped due the increase in elevation until it can gravity feed into the new location.
Q : Will the new piping go through people’s property?
A: We are locating it such that it’s not going to be detrimental to future development.