Collingwood town staff have said the development pause council implemented this year has helped ensure the water treatment plant capacity will last until the plant is expanded.
Council’s development and operations committee received a water and wastewater mid-year update from the town’s manager of environmental services, Heather McGinnity, last week.
In 2021, extra focus has been paid to the town’s water treatment plant since its dwindling capacity prompted council to pause new development in town.
The plant was already slated for expansion in 2025, but increased local development threatened to use up the remaining capacity before the expansion could be completed.
With an interim control bylaw in place to stop new building permits for new homes, and an exemption process to offer limited permits for development meeting certain criteria, McGinnity said the leftover capacity at the plant will last until 2025.
The water plant was operating at 81 per cent capacity between January and June, and up to 83 per cent of its winter capacity, which is lower than summer output.
“While these percentages do not include water supply that has been committed to development, but not connected to the system, with the interim control bylaw in place and associated land-use planning studies underway, we now have the confidence that the water treatment plant supply capacity will not be exceeded prior to the completion of the expansion,” said McGinnity during her presentation to committee.
This year, the town had to allocate extra staff time to increased utility locate requests. McGinnity attributed the increase to a higher number of homeowners who started renovation projects on their properties during the pandemic.
Highlights from the mid-year update report include:
- The wastewater treatment plant operated at about 57 per cent of its rated capacity.
- Water hydrant painting is underway.
- Six watermain breaks were repaired.
- Some structural repairs are required at the water treatment plant because of settlement, work is expected to go to tender later this year. This work has to be done in advance of the expansion project due to be completed in 2025.
- There were no adverse water quality incidents in the drinking water system and no wastewater treatment bypass events.
- There was more than three million cubic metres of wastewater treated between January and June 2021.
- The Raymond A Barker water treatment plant supplied 3.5 million cubic metres of potable water to homes and businesses in Collingwood, New Tecumseth (including Essa and Clearview), and The Blue Mountains.
- June 2021 saw the highest demand for potable water at 818,877 cubic metres, with February at the lowest end at 651,500 cubic metres for the month.
You can read the full report here.
The report will be part of the Sept. 27 council agenda.