Winchester residents Shane and Sandra Freeman go over the information on the posters with North Dundas CAO Angela Rutley at the open house. Morin Photo
WINCHESTER – North Dundas residents had their first look at the options their council is considering when it comes to bringing more water to North Dundas.
The municipality held an open house on Dec. 15 in council chambers. The 5 to 7 p.m. information event featured members of the municipality who explained what the water issue was all about to visitors, as well as staff from JL Richards, the company who has been conducting the environmental assessment. The title of the report is “The Drinking Water Supply System Capacity Expansion”, in other words, where does North Dundas go to get more water for its expected growth now and in the future.
The information about what JL Richards has found and what they were recommending could be found on large posters spread around the council chambers.
One poster explained what the issue was all about for visitors.
It stated: “The Township of North Dundas is serviced by a communal potable water supply system that generally consists of eight active groundwater wells, five pump houses with chlorine disinfection, two storage reservoirs, two elevated storage tanks and distribution system. While the system has been operating in accordance with all applicable legislation and is generally achieving all required water quality standards, it is anticipated that the township will not be able to meet potable water supply requirements, as recommended by the Ministry of the Environment; Conservation and Parks; within the next 20-year timeframe if projected growth and associated water demand is realized. The township is therefore in need of a solution that will address water supply constraints and improve the redundancy and reliability in delivering treated water to the community over the next 20 years.”
The different options detailed by the assessment comes at a cost. Councillor Uhrig was at the open house.
He said, “I feel that we have already gotten a lot of public feedback, certainly on the campaign trail going into the election and in the days after being elected.
“Obviously water in the future is of grave concern to many people. It has already stymied development,” said Uhrig.
Deciding which path to take to secure more water for North Dundas will be difficult.
Uhrig said, “It is balancing expectations with reality, and the reality is, nothing is cheap anymore.”
Winchester residents Shane and Sandra Freeman attended the open house; they felt regardless of the decision made about the water situation, it was good that the municipality was including residents in the discussion.
“I think this is a good idea. They are coming to the community and asking for our advice,” said Shane.
“They have given us something to think about.”
Visitors to the open house were asked to fill out a form after they had had a chance to look over the information and comment on what they think the municipality should do.
Shane suggested the municipality should go with what they have in the short-term, including the LaFleur Road well and start working on getting the funding for the more ambitious projects like connecting to the South Dundas water system.
Sandra said, “It’s good to know what this will cost. Then you will know what it will take to bring this forward.”
“There are many factors to weigh here,” said Shane. Sandra added, “I would like to see more business here.”
The couple pointed out that growth could change a community in many good and bad ways.
To do nothing would have a future cost as far as growth in North Dundas is concerned. Developers are already seeing North Dundas, just south of Ottawa as a logical place to begin development for future families moving away from urban centers.
The second option would be to establish a new well, which is already underway at Lafleur Road. This would be a short-term solution and would not be able to keep up with expected growth in the future. This option would include finding other wells in the future.
The cost would be around $11,000.
The next option would be to look after short- and long-term needs.
It entails continuing with the LaFleur Road well and includes a long-term solution by hooking North Dundas up to the South Dundas water system. That option comes with a price tag of $53,000,000.
A final suggestion would be to go with the LaFleur Road well, add a few more wells in North Dundas and connect to the South Dundas water system. The cost for that would be $59,000,000.
The report stated that after the public has had the chance to comment and help the municipality decide which option to take, the implementation of any plan could begin in March 2023.
If you have questions or comments about the environmental assessment you can get in touch with Mark Buchanan, project manager, at 343-804-5349 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach CAO Angela Rutley at 613-774-2105 ex 231 or email her at: email@example.com
Joseph Morin is the Editor of the Eastern Ontario AgriNews, and the Record. He is, despite years of practice, determined to eventually play the guitar properly. He has served the Eastern Ontario community as a news editor, and journalist for the past 25 years with the Iroquois Chieftain, Kemptville Advance, West Carleton Review, and Ottawa Carleton Review in Manotick. He has never met a book he did not like.