Clarenville pre­par­ing for new fed­eral waste­water treat­ment reg­u­la­tions

Cost could be $20 mil­lion or more

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Front page - BY JONATHAN PAR­SONS Jonathan.par­sons@thep­acket.ca Twit­ter: @je­j­par­sons

With new fed­eral waste­water reg­u­la­tions loom­ing, the Town of Clarenville could be look­ing at a bill of up to $20 mil­lion, pend­ing a re­view by mu­nic­i­pal en­gi­neers.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment is re­quir­ing towns across the coun­try to mon­i­tor the out­flow of their waste­water and to cease any out­fall into the ocean in favour of sewage treat­ment by 2020.

Clarenville is con­sid­er­ing all its op­tions.

Town of­fi­cials had their first for­mal meet­ing with the new Bon­av­ista-Burin-Trin­ity MP Churence Rogers ear­lier this win­ter and the topic dom­i­nated the dis­cus­sion, says Mayor Frazer Rus­sell.

The Mayor told The Packet the meet­ing was a pos­i­tive one — ar­ranged to en­sure they con­tinue to have a pos­i­tive work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the lo­cal MP.

“Our ques­tion to him was, ‘Are there go­ing to be any re­lax­ations of the dead­lines?’ be­cause right now, 2020 is not re­al­is­tic,” Rus­sell told The Packet last week.

Rus­sell says the town has been mon­i­tor­ing its waste­water for the past three years at a cost of $40,000 an­nu­ally. At this point, he says, they feel they’ve col­lected enough data and should be able to take this ex­pense off their books.

“We feel right now we have the data we need to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion be­cause the data hasn’t changed that much and we haven’t been grow­ing that much over the past year or so.”

Rus­sell says their en­gi­neers are an­a­lyz­ing the present sys­tem to de­ter­mine what in­fra­struc­ture up­grades will be re­quired. The en­gi­neer­ing re­port with var­i­ous treat­ment op­tions is ex­pected in May.

In the mean­time, Rus­sell says they will try to elim­i­nate as many of the eight cur­rent out­falls as they can.

Rus­sell says their en­gi­neers have looked at dif­fer­ent op­tions and while the cost is im­por­tant, the type of treat­ment is also vi­tal.

He adds run-off storm drain wa­ter should also be taken into ac­count, not­ing they wouldn’t want to add an ex­tra cost with the sheer amount of ex­cess wa­ter be­ing treated, along with sewage.

“In our in­fra­struc­ture up­grades, we need to find ways to re­duce the amount of sur­face wa­ter that’s get­ting into the sewer sys­tem be­cause that af­fects the ca­pac­ity and the cost of treat­ing it.

“That has great fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions for the town in terms of our long-term plan­ning as well,” said Rus­sell. “So re­ally, we were try­ing to fig­ure out what as­sis­tance is go­ing to be out there for small towns to en­sure the new guide­lines are go­ing to be met.

“But none of it will be able to be done with­out fed­eral in­volve­ment,” says Rus­sell.

PACKET FILE PHOTO

Clarenville Mayor Frazer Rus­sell

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