Century Heights Water System Class Environmental Assessment (EA)

Background Information

On September 20, 2021 Council supported proceeding with the investigation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the expansion of the Century Heights Municipal Water System to accommodate future growth. Further that a report be brought back to a future Council meeting with more details. Read the full Council Report here.

On November 16, 2021 Council agreed to proceed with the Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for the expansion of the Century Heights Municipal Water System to be completed by BM Ross with a budget amount of $360,000 plus HST. Further, that Council passes a motion that the cost of the EA will be recovered through Development Charges. Read the full Council Report here and supporting documentation

On June 21, 2022 Brett Pollock, CBO provided Council with a update on the Century Heights Water System Class Environmental Assessment (EA). Read the full Council report here

On July 14, 2022 Council accepted the proposal from W.D. Hopper & Sons Ltd. in the amount of $81,815.00 plus HST for the drilling of a new supply well as part of the Century Heights Water System Expansion. For more information read the full Council Report provided by Brett Pollock, CBO. 

The Environmental Assessment Process (EA) for the expansion of the Century Heights Water System is moving forward.  The well has been drilled, pump tests have occurred, and the Source Water Protection committee is reviewing the findings.   

The next step is to host an “Open House” as a requirement of the EA.  The Open House style meeting will have some display boards, that are prepared by our Engineers, B.M. Ross & Associates, and a presentation with time for questions and comments after. 

An Open House was held Thursday, December 1, 2022 at the Benmiller Community Hall. 

On April 25, 2023 Council received a report from Mark Becker, CAO on the treatment design and pressure zones for the Century Heights Drinking Water System. Council agreed to design the new well and treatment building for a higher pressure and operate two systems independently (i.e. two different pressure zones). Read the full Council Report here and the Memo from Ryan DeVries (BM ROSS) here

Scope of Project

The project would proceed as a Schedule B Class EA under the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment.

Major tasks include:

  • Confirm, with the Township, the extent of development (including existing, commitments, and pending/proposals) to include in the study.
  • Identify potential locations for additional well construction.
  • Review the potential benefit of adding potable water storage to the system.
  • Prepare a digital model of the water distribution system and identify recommended upgrades/extensions for servicing.
  • Public and agency consultation as required to complete a Schedule B Class EA.
  • Prepare for and attend two Public Information Centres.
  • Prepare for and attend a presentation to Council.
  • Provision of Technical Memos at key project milestones (projected to be four in total).
  • Provision of a final Screening Report to summarize the project and the recommended alternative.

What is an Environmental Assessment?

The Environmental Assessment (EA) process is a planning tool used to identify the possible adverse effects of proposed infrastructure projects on the environment. The Ontario Environmental Assessment Act requires Ontario municipalities to complete an EA when undertaking capital works projects.

By eliminating or reducing effects on the environment, the municipality can avoid expensive, and sometimes controversial, remedial action once the project has been completed. Over the long term, environmental assessment provides decision makers with the kind of information they need to approve projects that are suitable with a healthy, sustainable environment for both present and future generations.

"Environment" is applied in a broad sense and includes the natural, social, cultural, built and economic environments. It is defined in the EA Act as:

  • air, land or water;
  • plant and animal life, including human life;
  • the social, economic and cultural conditions that influence the life of humans, or a community;
  • any building, structure, machine or other device or thing made by humans;
  • any solid, liquid, gas, odour, heat, sound, vibration or radiation resulting directly or indirectly from human activities; or,
  • any part or combination of the foregoing and the interrelationships between any two or more of them

Public Consultation

Consultation early in and throughout the process is a key component of environmental assessment planning. While the Class EA establishes minimum requirements only, most proponents develop public consultation plans that exceed the minimum.

Most public consultation plans include:

  • Notice of Study Commencement that indicates that a study has been initiated and that there will be an Open House to identify the problem/opportunity and review the process.
  • Notice of Completion occurs at the end of Phase 2 for Schedule B projects. This notice shall clearly state the review period of the ESR (minimum 30 calendar days) on public records and the date by which submissions or requests for an order are to be received.

Work Completed so far... 

As of September 1, 2022 the following has been completed as part of the MCEA for the Century Heights Water System Expansion: 

  • A review of the current system has been completed to determine the current capacity of the system as well as the potential supply capacity. The review confirmed that even if storage were added the existing system, it is not considered practical or feasible to service the future growth or the existing unconnected properties in the Saltford Area.
  • Due to the results of the assessment of the existing system, three potential well sites were identified. See map for locations. As part of the MCEA process all three sites were evaluated and a preferred site has been selected. Potential Well Site 1, the former well site, was identified as the site with the highest potential. Each site was analyzed for the consideration of technical factors and Source Water Protection Policies. The advantages of Potential Well Site 1 include:
    • Being a former well site there is greater knowledge and confidence in the potential capacity and yields.
    • Less impact on future development
    • Near connection point to the existing system
    • The site is already owned by the Township. 

There were a few disadvantages identified which included:

  • Any properties within 100m of the well with septic systems will require inspection under the Source Water policy.
  • Potential for GUDI conditions
  • May require upgrades to existing watermain to supply development areas

The knowledge of the existing conditions along with financial investment required in proceeding with the drilling and investigating a Potential Well Site made Potential Well Site 1 the most logical choice.

  • Council has made the determination that fire protection will not be included as part of the EA process.
  • The extent of the necessary proposed work has also been looked at with the following determinations made:
    • The existing unconnected properties will not be included as part of the proposed work. This means that, at this time, the Township will not plan for new watermains or mandatory connections to service these unconnected properties. However, the new well and/or storage will be sized to accommodate these properties should it be decided they are to be added at some point in the future.
    • The well work will include only the minimum amount of watermain required to service the proposed developments.

The Request for Proposal for the drilling of a new supply well at the Potential Well Site 1. Council accepted the proposal from W.D. Hopper & Sons Ltd. in the amount of $81,815.00 plus HST for the work. 

The drilling of the new Century Heights Well was completed Aug 23, 2022. During the inspection of the well an area of heavily fractured rock was identified. In light of this, it is necessary to install a slotted pipe to prevent a future collapse of the well. The cost of this additional work is $15,494.00 plus HST.  

Following the completion of the pump test the Source Water Protection modeling will be undertaken. In addition to the modeling the engineering and agency consultation will continue.

The Public Open House hosted by Engineers, B.M. Ross & Associates, was held at Benmiller Community Hall on Thursday, December 1, 2022.

The goal it to complete the EA before the end of the year. The design work would then commence the beginning of 2023.

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