In a report submitted to Meaford's council at their January 9 meeting, Director of Operations, Stephen Vokes, said that while the municipal water pollution control plant (WPCP) is approaching the tipping point that will trigger the need to enter the design phase for upgrades and improvements to the facility, efforts made by the municipality in recent years to separate waste water and storm water flows have helped to push that expensive undertaking further into the future.
Vokes' report says that the system is currently operating at 83.7 percent of its committed reserve capacity. When the committed reserve capacity reaches 85 percent of the rated capacity the municipality will commence the design phase of the WPCP upgrade and expansion.
“The flow records would appear to indicate that the Municipality’s ongoing efforts to separate and repair the sewage collection system to reduce inflow/infiltration are working. This is indicated by a drop in the three year average from 2,780.3m3/day in 2008 to 2,683.6m3/day in 2010. As a result the Municipality has been able to reduce its committed capacity while continuing to allow development,” read the report.
The uncommitted reserve capacity for the waste water treatment facility would allow for the addition of approximately 490 new residential units being added to the system before the maximum capacity is achieved.
Vokes cautioned council that the current committed reserve capacity does not take into account some major development projects that have been proposed in the municipality.
“It should be noted that the above-mentioned capacity calculation does not include any allowances for either Meaford Haven or Meaford Highlands developments. Total allocations for these two developments would utilize the entire remaining capacity,” advised Vokes.
Members of council were pleased with the information provided in the report.
“I'm quite heartened to see that there is lots of consideration given to new and modern technologies that can actually save money going forward,” offered Councillor Michael Poetker.
Poetker asked Vokes if there would be any benefit would be realized by initiating a plan that would see the rooftop water drainage of downtown commercial buildings diverted from the flow that is sent to the WPCP.
“We are all subsidizing the fact that these drains have not been switched out to the storm water system,” suggested Poetker.
Vokes advised that while that will eventually have to be done, it will be a very expensive undertaking that he doesn't see happening for two to three years.
“As a department we will bring it forward and it will be a partnership between those building owners and ourselves to then do it,” said Vokes.
The municipality has been able to reduce the volume being processed by the WPCP in large part by separating storm water flow from waste water flow as road repair and reconstruction projects have taken place.
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