Funds sought by Biosphere Association to keep NBP waterways safe
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.