Community, project infrastructure needs reviewed by South Bruce CLC

·5 min read

TEESWATER – On July 7, the South Bruce Community Liaison Committee (CLC) received a presentation on community and project infrastructure needs if the deep geological repository (DGR) comes to the area.

Presented by Dave Rushton (Municipality of South Bruce), James Fookes (Morrison Hershfield Ltd.) and Jeremy Taylor (R. J. Burnside & Associates Ltd), the presentation looked at infrastructure expansion and the timing of community and project needs for the area, such as water supply, wastewater pumping and treatment, gas, power, and solid waste management.

The study looked at the current water and wastewater infrastructure for South Bruce, indicating that Mildmay’s drinking water system has approximately two-plus years of capacity remaining, and the sewage pumping station is approaching its capacity. The wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) has about 10 years left before upgrades would be necessary.

Teeswater’s drinking water system and sewage pumping station have between 5-10 years of capacity remaining, and the WWTP currently has 20-25 years left.

The Teeswater estimates take planned upgrades to the drinking water and WWTP into account.

The impact of project-derived growth suggests that Mildmay’s drinking water system can be sized to accommodate project-related growth, the sewage pumping station may need to be expanded sooner, and the WWTP has sufficient capacity.

Both the drinking water system and the sewage pumping station in Teeswater may need to be expanded sooner, but the WWTP will have sufficient capacity.

Stormwater in both locations will continue to be expanded incrementally.

The lack of municipal water in Formosa, which does not have a potable water supply from the municipality, may limit development.

“Now, residential and business growth could potentially occur in any of the three communities of Teeswater, Mildmay, or Formosa, but we’d expect the absence of a municipal water system in Formosa to tend to push growth to the other two communities that do offer that service,” Fookes said. “So, another potential project effect is that it may bring forward the need or the desire to extend water servicing to Formosa.”

Solid waste management was studied and included in this report to the CLC.

“South Bruce has two operating landfills with 20 years of combined site life remaining,” Fookes’ report said. “Project-related population growth would shorten landfill site life by about one year.”

The report indicated that landfill capacity would not be affected by employment growth because commercial waste is collected by private waste management services and disposed of at landfills outside of South Bruce.

“However, the municipality has plans already underway to extend the landfill lives through increased compaction of the waste,” Fookes said. “And that’s using the new compactor…that arrived earlier this year, which was actually funded through the agreement with the NWMO.”

Other things to consider are the significant investment that would be required for the water and wastewater expansions and planning for climate-vulnerable infrastructure.

The report also indicated that there is a planning challenge given the variation in the baseline population projections. As a result, infrastructure should be sized to accommodate growth while being financially sustainable, plus consider designs for near-term infrastructure expansions that provide greater flexibility, such as twin force mains.

Force mains are pipelines that convey wastewater under pressure from the discharge side of a pump or pneumatic ejector to a discharge point. Pumps or compressors located in a lift station provide the energy for wastewater conveyance in force mains.

Servicing the Centre of Expertise would be the equivalent of 32 new residents, the report said, and the building would be serviced by municipal water and wastewater systems. In addition, the building would require local power, gas, and telecommunication upgrades.

The DGR servicing needs are a bit more complex. About 185 cubic metres of water per day would be required, which includes fire suppression and potable water.

Solid waste and recycling would be collected by a private waste service provider and disposed of outside the South Bruce area.

“As part of our study, we looked at whether the extension of municipal water and wastewater services from Teeswater to the DGR site might be feasible. And for both water and wastewater, our conclusion was yes, the site could feasibly be serviced with new conveyance pipelines,” Fookes said. “So, one positive effect of providing water servicing from Teeswater would be the potential to extend water services to homes and farms along that pipeline route.”

The report said power supply requirements are significant, and the DGR would require a new line from the high voltage grid and long-term planning. If needed, natural gas may be provided by Enbridge or EPCOR.

Buried fibre optic would need to be extended to the site, providing high-speed service to residents and businesses along the route.

R.J. Burnside & Associates Ltd. conducted the peer reviews on the Infrastructure Baseline and Feasibility study.

The report they prepared said that the current study focused on the need and timing for infrastructure expansion based on population and residential dwelling growth. They recommended an additional study for identifying the need for development based on industrial, commercial, and institutional growth resulting from indirect and induced employment growth and further evaluation of feasibility and potential benefits of servicing the site with potable water and sanitary wastewater.

“One thing that we identify, and I think that some future studies can look at, is to consider the impact of industrial, commercial and institutional growth that can be expected if this project is situated within South Bruce, both indirect and induced employment that would be anticipated,” Taylor said. “Some further evaluation would be required in future studies with regards to how the site should be serviced, whether it’s a municipal or on-site servicing option.”

Also suggested was to evaluate the feasibility of expanding the potential municipal water supply to properties along the watermain route.

The final recommendation from the peer review was to suggest that South Bruce proceed with preparations of an Infrastructure Master Plan, which would prove beneficial to the municipality.

“One thing that we recommended within the peer review process, and it was touched on within James’s report, was masterplan, and looking at infrastructure, long term is something that we should be considering going forward with and without the project, obviously, and the impacts that that would bring to the infrastructure, key components for the municipality,” Taylor said.

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting