Tiny Water Systems Meet Provincial Guidelines

Tiny Water Systems Meet Provincial Guidelines 

By Patricia O’Driscoll

There are 17 Municipally operated water systems within the Township of Tiny, the largest number in any municipality in Simcoe County. Nearly 3,000 lots are within the service areas of these water systems with approximately 1,700 units connected to the water systems. Some 30% to 40% of Township lots are on municipal water supply.

In 1989, the Ministry of the Environment conducted “compliance inspections” on these 17 water systems, reported its findings to Council in March, 1991 and requested the Township to respond with a proposed plan of action within 60 days.

Tiny’s water systems are operated on a “user pay” basis. Faced with new capital cost outlays to respond to the MoE directives, in 1991, Council increased the yearly levy (from $25 to $35) on the tax bill of each property on a municipal water system and gave directions to the Water Works Superintendent to proceed with the required work. The increased levy, which allowed the work to be done, directly benefited some 61% of the lots on municipal water.

Prior to 1989, Councils did not realize the transformation that was happening in the seasonal areas and did not address year round usage. Poor planning in areas which were transforming to year round use, led to deficiencies in the water systems.

On March 13, 1995, Council adopted the report of the Water Works Superintendent which outlined the improvement/upgrade projects undertaken since 1989 (at a cost of $467,500 during that period) to rectify the issues raised by the compliance reviews. These costs have come from the Water Works Reserve Fund (the $35.00 per year levy per household). Work included: renewed piping, major structural repairs, construction of a new well and rehabilitation of existing wells.

In addition, some $650,000 has been budgeted for the Georgian Sands Water System which, before work began in 1989, was leaking 80,000 gallons of water a day. This caused excessive wear on equipment. 

The Water Works Superintendent, Mike Emms, concluded his report by stating: “Tiny Township has worked diligently to improve/upgrade its water systems to provide enhanced service and bring them into full compliance with the Ontario Water Resources Act as administered by the MoE, while continuing to meet its main objective of supplying reliable potable municipal water to its many customers.”