WINCHESTER – The anticipated growth in North Dundas has created concern about ensuring the municipalities’ drinking water and sewage system is up to the challenge of more users.

North Dundas councillors and Public Works’ staff has started out on a plan to get ready for any water and sewage issues in the future.

The municipality has already identified several different ways to deal with the new growth.

North Dundas has hired J.L. Richards and Associates to conduct a study covering the next 20 years regarding water needs.

In order to have good drinking water in the future, there are several options available to council.

They could decide to do nothing, which would abruptly end the explosion of growth in the municipality.

In the spring, the municipality had room for 300 water and sewer connections. Since then, 292 connections have been allocated to incoming housing projects leaving only eight connections available.

The decision to have more studies done is the first step in addressing potential issues over the next 20 years.

The municipality has several choices: 1. Do nothing; 2. Expanding the groundwater supply system – additional new well(s); 3. Connecting to other water system – South Dundas; 4. A new surface water treatment plant; 5. Combination of alternative 2 and 3. The municipality has been talking to property owners in the area about testing for potentially new wells if that turns out to be the answer.

The Public Works’ report regarding the need for more studies stated: “Five sites within Morewood Esker and Maple Ridge Esker, were shortlisted for negotiation with the property owners. The township is working toward securing an option to purchase agreement, subject to a successful pumping test. The intent is to perform the pumping test in August. The Ministry of Environment has issued the permit for the pumping test that includes all sites, subject to an agreement with the property owner. It is anticipated that cost of drilling one new production well, pump house, land purchase, hydro/generator and watermain extension will be approximately $3M to $4M, but varies greatly depending on the proximity of the well site to our existing watermains and hydro lines.

The option of getting some help from South Dundas is being investigated by the study.

J.L. Richards has reviewed the existing South Dundas water supply and has confirmed that South Dundas has the capacity to supply the North Dundas water supply shortfall. The study revealed that a South Dundas connection would likely be able to supply water beyond the 20-year look at the North Dundas drinking water situation.

The Public Works’ report concluded that even though North Dundas is currently drawing drinking water from eight active wells, that will not be enough to meet the demands expected over the next 20 years. The addition of several new wells will help but is considered to be an interim solution.

The report stated: “For the township to continue to accommodate the growth and provide for water security as well as quality for existing and new residents, it is highly recommended to secure alternate sources of water i.e., surface water from South Dundas.”

The next steps identified in the report are: 1. Finalize option to purchase agreement with the property owner; 2. Conduct drill for test well to allow for pumping test; 3. Conduct environmental and field investigations related to watermain extension from South Dundas; 4. Conduct Public Information Centre in fall 2021; 5. Present the study findings and public input to the council; 6. Finalize the EA Study in late 2021 / early 2022.