TLTI council to consider hydrogeological study

·2 min read

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands will consider proceeding with an amendment to increase the Permit to Take Water (PTTW) for the Lansdowne water system with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

And they’ll consider proceeding with a hydrogeological study to determine that suitable groundwater exists to accommodate future growth. The Committee of the Whole has recommended that council allocate a budget of up to $180,000 from the Water Reserve Fund to fund the hydrogeological study.

This was to occur during this week's Committee of the Whole meeting, and comes after council receives the Lansdowne Growth and Infrastructure Upgrades Memorandum as provided by J.L. Richards.

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP) expect municipalities to start planning for a capacity increase in their water and wastewater systems once 80 per cent of the rated capacity is reached. While the Lansdowne systems are currently running at 62 per cent and 66 per cent respectively, anticipated short-term development pressures will see the systems exceed this threshold.

To address the anticipated exceedance, approval from MECP is required. Upon receiving approval from MECP, the township must then begin the process of addressing the exceedance through infrastructure upgrades. J.L. Richards has outlined the requirements to undertake this process, including the timelines and associated costs.

The first step to satisfy MECP in terms of municipal water, is to determine whether sufficient source water exists through a hydrogeological study. This step is important in determining the amount of development the municipality can allow on the municipal water system by better understanding the capacity of the underground aquifer from which the municipality draws water. If sufficient capacity exists, the municipality can proceed to the next stage. However, if the capacity is determined to be insufficient, an alternative source of water must be sought or future development reduced.

Subject to sufficient aquifer capacity, the next steps the municipality must undertake involve satisfying the storage, distribution, and treatment requirements for both the municipal water and wastewater systems. In addition to the Municipal Class EA currently underway for the water storage facility to address the Fire Underwriters Survey fire flow requirements, an amount of $150,000 has been included in the 2023 capital budget for a Municipal Class EA for the wastewater treatment facility (lagoons). The Municipal Class EA for the wastewater treatment facility will be held until the results of a hydrogeological study are complete.

The cost of the hydrogeological study would be funded from the Water Reserve Fund. The current balance in the Water Reserve Fund is $476,627.96.

(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)

Keith Dempsey, Local Journalism Initiative, Brockville Recorder and Times