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Matters of Interest

Municipal water – Tottenham:

UPDATE: On April 13, 2018, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) advised the Town of New Tecumseth on the outcome of its review into the Part II order. The MOECC has decided that an individual environmental assessment is not required for the Tottenham Water Pipeline.  The Town is now able to proceed with the plans to extend the pipeline to Tottenham.

The next steps and anticipated timelines for the Tottenham Transmission Main project are as follows:

  • The 2017 Capital Budget Sheet 2017-009, identified funds for the route selection, additional EA, design and construction of the Tottenham Transmission Main and the expansion of the Mill Street Reservoir in Tottenham.  This budget sheet was carried forward as part of the 2018 budget process.
  • Staff will need to issue an RFP for detailed route selection, which would follow the Schedule B process. Staff will be completing the RFP and anticipate it will be before Council for consideration within the next couple of months. This process would secure the route and is expected to take up to 12 months.
  • Once the route is established, the next step would be to proceed to detailed design for the transmission main and the reservoir expansion, along with any agency approvals required for the work.  This phase is expected to take 12 to 14 months
  • Tendering, construction, and commissioning of the works would be the next phase and is expected to take 12 to 16 months to complete.
  • The complete process will take between 36 to 42 months to complete.  Following this work, the Tottenham water system would be blended with the Alliston supply.

BACKGROUND: 

The municipality has undertaken a Town-wide Water Supply, Distribution and Storage Master Plan (WMP). A copy of the WMP can be viewed here:                                     http://newtecumseth.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Water-Master-Plan.pdf

To meet the long-term Tottenham water supply needs and address the well water quality and reduce discolouration, the WMP recommended a new water transmission pipeline be extended from Beeton to Tottenham, which essentially extends the Collingwood/ Georgian Bay surface water pipeline from Alliston to Beeton, and then onward to Tottenham. The Alliston/Beeton transmission water supply to Tottenham is proposed to be blended with the existing Tottenham groundwater well water, and it is anticipated that the pipeline supply will service the community’s average daily demands, with the wells only being used to top-up the supply during maximum peak demands such as high-demand summer days. In this approach the blending of the two sources will significantly improve the overall water quality to the community.

The WMP was completed in accordance with the Master Plan provisions of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) guidelines. The final WMP was presented to Council in July of 2016 and submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) for approval in September 2016. The MCEA protocol requires a 30-day public review of the Master Plan, which began September 8, 2016. During the Public Review period the MOECC received correspondence objecting to the preferred recommended solution of the Tottenham transmission pipeline and requested that the MOECC require the Town to undertake an individual Environmental Assessment (EA) to revisit and further investigate the findings of the recommended transmission pipeline. This request is referred to as a Part II Order.

The MOECC advises that the request is being reviewed and have not yet provided their decision on the matter. As such, Town Staff cannot advance the engineering phase of the Tottenham transmission pipeline until the MOECC provides their ruling and ultimately approves the WMP.

In the meantime, the Public Works Department continues to make operational enhancements in accordance with provincial water quality standards until a new pipeline supply can be provided in order to improve the water quality.

In summary: The Town’s Water Supply, Distribution and Storage Master Plan (WMP) includes a plan to connect Tottenham to the Georgian Bay pipeline in order to meet the long-term Tottenham water supply needs and address the well water quality and reduce discolouration.

Challenges: Tottenham’s water is solely sourced from ground water wells and its natural make-up consists of high iron content and naturally occurring organics which is the primary reason for periodic discolouration. The WMP includes a plan to connect Tottenham to the pipeline.

The Alliston/Beeton transmission water supply to Tottenham is proposed to be blended with the existing Tottenham groundwater well water, and it is anticipated that the pipeline supply will service the community’s average daily demands, with the wells only being used to top-up the supply during maximum peak demands such as high-demand summer days. In this approach the blending of the two sources will significantly improve the overall water quality to the community.

During the public review period of the final WMP in 2016, the MOECC received correspondence objecting to the preferred recommended solution of the Tottenham transmission pipeline and requested that the MOECC require the Town to undertake an individual Environmental Assessment (EA) to revisit and further investigate the findings of the recommended transmission pipeline. This request is referred to as a Part II Order.

Solutions: While the Town awaits a decision from the MOECC with regards to the Part II order and the intended plan for Tottenham`s water, the Town continues to treat and closely monitor Tottenham’s water supply – ensuring it remains safe for use (in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act of Ontario) at all times and that there are no health implications.

Status: The Town of New Tecumseth is awaiting a response and decision from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) regarding the Part II Order. The Town cannot advance the engineering phase of the Tottenham transmission pipeline until the MOECC provides their ruling and ultimately approves the WMP.