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

In June 2023, the proposed preliminary site plan was provided by B.M. Ross and Associates Ltd. view the Site Plan here. Any comments or concerns on the proposed site plan can be addressed to Thomas McCarthy, Public Works Superintendent. A new pump house and treatment building is required to be constructed for the operation of the new well (Well 3) that was drilled as part of the expansion of the Century Heights Water System.

The proposed site plan includes a new gravel driveway from Maitland Ave,  new gravel parking, proposed pumphouse building, generator, new well, improvements to the existing drainage, clearing and grubbing of the existing ditch and the location of a below grade water storage structure. (NOTE: the water storage is shown for reference only should it be necessary in the future, however is not required or proposed to be constructed at this time)

The Township will be receiving comments on the proposed site plan until July 31, 2023.

In December 2023, Council received the draft environment screening report and appendices for the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment for Expansion of Century Heights Drinking Water System and authorized B.M. Ross & Associates to submit the draft report to the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks for their review and following the completion of their review authorize B.M. Ross & Associates to issue the notice of completion.

January 31, 2024, the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh received the completed environmental screening report for the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment for Expansion of Century Heights Drinking Water System from B.M. Ross & Associates and the notice of completion has been issued. 

On March 20, 2024 the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh received notice from BM ROSS that the Environmental Assessment process has been completed in accordance with the procedural requirements. 

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.
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