The Town of Collingwood is running low on capacity at its water treatment plant and may be looking to reduce the share of drinking water it directs to partner communities, including the Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM).
Earlier this week Collingwood council passed an interim control bylaw that will pause new construction for the next year in an effort to address dwindling capacity at its water treatment plant.
In addition to the bylaw, Collingwood council also directed its staff to reexamine where the town’s drinking water is being allocated. Currently, as much as 35 to 50 per cent of the Collingwood plant’s capacity is sent to TBM and New Tecumseth.
The contract that Collingwood has in place with New Tecumseth expired in May 2020 but the towns have continued to follow the terms set in the expired agreement. A new contract is currently in the works.
As for TBM, the municipality entered into a contract with Collingwood on March 31, 2015.
“Based on the existing agreement with the Town of Collingwood, the TBM can take up to 1,250 cubic metres per day of treated drinking water from the Town of Collingwood,” said Shawn Carey, director of operations for TBM.
The contract has no expiration date, however , TBM has the right to terminate the agreement by providing 90 days notice, and Collingwood has the same right but must provide 365 days notice.
“TBM paid the Town of Collingwood the equivalent amount of connections based on a water taking of 1,250 cubic metres per day as a contribution toward Collingwood’s existing plant infrastructure,” Carey explained.
“With this agreement, the TBM may, if mutually agreed, purchase up to 4,000 cubic metres per day. In addition, TBM provides water to the Town of Collingwood at a couple of connections,” he continued.
According to TBM’s 2019 Capacity Report, the rated capacity of the TBM drinking water system is 15,140 cubic metres per day plus 1,250 cubic metres per day from Collingwood.
Based on maximum daily demand, TBM’s drinking water system can supply water to 15,462 units. In 2019, there were 8,647 units connected to the system.
“While the TBM does not utilize all of this volume today, the current pace of development, approvals, and build-out in The Blue Mountains may require this water from the Town of Collingwood in the future,” Carey said.
The 2020 capacity report for TBM Infrastructure is expected to be presented to council in June.
According to Carey, TBM's operations department is currently in the process of assessing the implications if the agreement with Collingwood were to be adjusted or reduced.
Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca