Dysart consultant’s pumped septage estimate way off, local haulers say
|By Alex Coop - Staff Writer | September 14, 2017|
As Dysart seeks a preferred option for waste management services, local haulers are worried that its consultant is low-balling estimates for annual septage pumped per year.
The municipality is undertaking a Schedule C Class Environmental Assessment (EA) study to establish the preferred option for waste management services.
ASI Water, which specializes in water and wastewater operations and engineering, has been hired by the municipality to evaluate septage treatment options.
Their preliminary planning suggests a new treatment facility is the best option, but its estimates for volume of septage pumped per year in Dysart, 3,900 square metres, are grossly inaccurate, local haulers say.
The estimates were part of ASI Water’s presentation during a public meeting Aug. 31, which was held at the Haliburton Legion.
“Those numbers are skewed, by a lot,” Pat Casey, owner of Total Site Services, a construction company that also performs septic services, told The Highlander.
According to the company’s annual figures for Haliburton, Total Site Services alone pumped 2,424 and 3,250 square metres of septage in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Dave Elstone of Haliburton Septic Pumping echoed Casey’s comments saying ASI Water’s daily truck haul estimates are inaccurate.
“[Haliburton Septic Pumping] has three truckloads per day, and that’s not including the other haulers’ truckloads. Their numbers are way out of whack,” he said.
ASI Water estimates an average of two to three haul trucks per day during the summer.
“Based on some of the comments, we’ll have to go back and look at some of the numbers we’ve calculated,” Dawn Riekenbrauck, an engineer in training for ASI Water, told The Highlander after the meeting.
She emphasized the numbers are very preliminary, and that there are several unknown factors that have been left out of the equation, including the provincial government’s pending decision on land application of untreated holding and septic tank waste.
“The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change haven’t finalized a plan, but we expect a ban on land application,” said Riekenbrauck.
That could result in significant rate hikes, said Elstone.
“It could put local haulers and myself in a very difficult situation,” he said. “It’s a huge issue here and [Dysart] has to be very careful as to what they do.”
There are no estimated costs for a potential treatment facility, or a preferred location, said Riekenbrauck.
Dysart currently does not have any infrastructure dedicated to septage treatment, said Rob Camelon, the municipality’s interim director of public works.
He encouraged haulers to come forward and participate in the conversation.
“Some of them had really good points and ideas,” he said after the meeting. “They really want to be included and I think they should be.”
Some haulers have suggested the issue be tackled at a county level, but Camelon said septage treatment is out of the county’s jurisdiction.
“We look after Dysart’s waste, and the opportunity to start this process presented itself to us through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund Program (CWWF),” he said.
After a successful application to the CWWF earlier this year, Dysart became eligible for more than $69,600 and $34,800, in federal and provincial funding, respectively.
ALEX COOP is a reporter for The Highlander.