Work to reduce storm water flows into the sewage system in the Huron Ridge subdivision has helped during heavy rainfall events, but average flows through the system continue to be a problem, according to engineers.
Bruce Potter, of B.M. Ross, which has been involved with the Huron Ridge subdivision reconstruction project, attended last Wednesday’s council meeting to provide council and the public with a refresher on the issue and work that has been done on the
In the past couple years, roads have been reconstructed, sanitary sewers have been replaced to accommodate future development, improvements have been made to storm sewers including the installation of perforated storm sewers and private drain connections have been provided on all storm sewers to all homes in the subdivision.
Potter said the perforated storm sewers seem to be working to reduce ground water flowing through the sanitary storm sewers and into the
“I would have hoped that with all the work we have done that our average daily flow would have declined and it hasn’t,” Potter said. “That is a disappointment to me and I think it’s something that needs to be monitored.”
Potter was invited to come to council after a proposal to make it mandatory for residents to connect footing drains on their properties to prevent storm water from flowing into the sewer system raised the ire of many.
But Potter told council last week that any method to reduce the infiltration of groundwater into the sewer system, including disconnecting footing drains, will go a long way to reduce the problem. He said a report in 2007 identified footing drains, as well as eavestroughs, sewer leaks and cross connections, as contributing factors. Everything has been addressed since, except the footing drains.
Residents, however, are concerned that they will be expected to pay before the problem has been investigated thoroughly enough and other measures are explored. Retired engineer Jim Bagshaw said he has been studying the problem for years and is convinced there are other causes to the over flow issue.
And, he said, problems are not confined to the
In December 2008, he told council last Wednesday, a fast melt and heavy rainfall within two days of each other, combined with a power failure, created high levels at three different wet wells and flooding at
Bagshaw told council, that rather than discriminating against one group of property owners, the municipality should implement a voluntary disconnection program for all of Kincardine.
“Many other towns and cities have wisely avoided these issues and have adopted several voluntary programs with subsidies to reduce sanitary sewer flows,” he said. “These voluntary programs include disconnection of foundation drains, sump pumps, disconnection of downspouts and installation of back flow preventers.”
Resident Ed Nowakowski showed photos he had taken around the Huron Ridge subdivision, showing down spouts pointed away from foundations and properties that sloped towards the roads. He said information that has been provided to council is misleading.
“There is no proof that the foundation drain lines are over taxing the water system and no proof that disconnection will solve the issue,” Nowakowski said.
He said that a report by public works that shows flow from one home at 9,000 litres per day has been used as the basis for all calculations. He questioned whether the house had been measured for a full day or for a short period during a rainfall and if the eavestroughs had been draining into the sewer line at the time.
Nowakowski said the road reconstruction in the subdivision is working and the water table has lowered.
“It is obvious to us that the Huron Ridge connections are not the cause of your waste water problem,” he said. “The cause is that the waste water capacities have not been increased to accommodate all the recent property developments around town. Are more developments planned that need sewage space? You can dig up our yards, but it’s not going to help.”
Potter said the sanitary sewer system design is ample to accommodate Huron Ridge, but the
Nowakowski said the municipality should start a planning process to enlarge the waste water handling capacity for the next 20 to 50 years to accommodate future growth.
“You’ve made some very good points that I agree with,” said deputy mayor Anne Eadie, adding that she would like to get clarity on the capacity of Kincardine systems in order to plan for the future.
A public meeting on the