Denise and Mary:
4. The community wants information about the sewage system. How it works. Is it working? What capacity does it have to accommodate village growth? The people of Wardsville were always told the sewage run-off facility was designed only for existing houses and in-filling in the village. The Official Plan has expanded the boundaries. What are the limits to growth? What are the costs and benefits of growth? Who will pay for environmental studies? How well is the new sewage treatment working? There is a need for factual information as soon as possible.
Southwest Middlesex, Janneke Newitt, Clerk:
The sewage system is running well below capacity. The study done in 2003 indicated that the system could service double the current population and a more recent study confirms that. When the system was first constructed there was a building freeze as the capacity was unknown as was the volume that the treatment plant would be expected to treat. However, that freeze was lifted after the 2003 study. I’m told that the issue was raised at the town hall meeting in Wardsville a year or two ago and residents that attended were advised of the lifting of the freeze. I agree though, that the municipality could do a better job of keeping the public updated on the system as not everyone attended the town hall meeting.
The sewage system would actually function better with more effluent being treated = growth would be beneficial. That is one more reason why Council thought it appropriate to expand the boundary of the Village in the official plan. We’ve just had a lengthy discussion with the Ministry of the Environment, who is concerned about the functionality of the treatment plant and so the municipality will be required to have an independent study done on it to determine a course of action. A report will be coming to Council fairly early in the new year and at that time the residents of Wardsville will be advised of the situation and steps that will be taken to resolve the problem.