Funds sought by Bio­sphere As­so­ci­a­tion to keep NBP wa­ter­ways safe

Wiarton Echo - - NEWS - Zoe Kessler Ed­i­tor

Neils Munk is look­ing to get North­ern Bruce Penin­sula res­i­dents to clean up their act by clean­ing out their sep­tic sys­tems, coun­cil heard Jan. 23.

As a del­e­ga­tion rep­re­sent­ing the Bruce Penin­sula Bio­sphere As­so­ci­a­tion, Munk asked the mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil for $48,000 to top up fund­ing from the Min­istry of the En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change to con­tinue a pro­gram to in­spect, re­pair, im­prove or re­place res­i­den­tial sewage treat­ment sys­tems.

Munk said the Bio­sphere As­so­ci­a­tion was hop­ing to part­ner with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to pro­vide wider avail­abil­ity of the pro­gram to res­i­dents.

The pro­gram cov­ers the cost of res­i­den­tial sewage treat­ment sys­tem pumpouts and in­spec­tions, as well as pro­vid­ing cash in­cen­tives for re­pairs or re­place­ment sys­tems.

The funds re­quested will con­tinue the MOECC sep­tic sys­tem pro­gram started in 2016, Munk, the pro­gram man­ager for the Bio­sphere’s Six Streams Ini­tia­tive, said.

Af­ter Munk’s pre­sen­ta­tion, Deputy Mayor Patricia Greig asked how res­i­dents were iden­ti­fied for the pro­gram. Munk said res­i­dents heard about the pro­gram through lo­cal me­dia, a door-to-door pro­gram and also clients of a lo­cal con­trac­tor were con­tacted for pump-outs.

In a Jan. 27 email, Munk said this year’s MOECC fund­ing of $75,000 will pro­vide for the pump-out, in­spec­tion and mi­nor re­pair or im­prove­ments of 30 res­i­den­tial sys­tems, as well as in­cen­tives for 10 sys­tem re­place­ments.

“The pro­posal of mu­nic­i­pal part­ner­ing in the pro­gram would dou­ble those num­bers,” he said.

Bruce Penin­sula Sep­tic Ser­vice, a lo­cal com­pany near Lion’s Head, is ex­pected to pro­vide the main­te­nance pump-outs and in­spec­tion por­tion of the pro­gram.

In 2016, 31 sep­tic sys­tems were in­spected, with four re­ceiv­ing up­grades and 11 sys­tems re­placed. Three more were tar­geted for re­place­ment in this year’s pro­gram.

Munk said, “The per­for­mance of pri­vate res­i­den­tial sewage treat­ment sys­tems is im­por­tant for health and en­vi­ron­men­tal rea­sons as leak­ing sys­tems can con­tam­i­nate lo­cal sur­face and ground­wa­ter with nu­tri­ents and pathogens.”

Ac­cord­ing to Munk, a res­i­den­tial pump-out costs about $150 in the sum­mer months and an ef­flu­ent fil­ter in­stal­la­tion – the most com­mon up­grade re­quired through the pro­gram – about $250.

A stan­dard Class 4 sewage sys­tem re­place­ment for a mod­er­ately sized home or cot­tage starts at about $10,000.

“Of that amount, the MOECC pro­gram fund­ing can cover up to $4,000,” he said.

Coun­cil will con­sider Munk’s re­quest at its upcoming 2017 bud­get ne­go­ti­a­tions.

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