Sewage, Septage and Sludge…Tiny’s Future
By Patricia O’Driscoll
If our permanent home is in the city, sewage is treated at a sewage treatment plant. We may not give much thought to the problem of how waste from our septic systems and holding tanks is handled in Tiny, but, how the problems are solved is crucial to the future well being of the Township. Stringent guidelines have been adopted by the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MMA) stipulating that future development cannot occur without full servicing for waste water treatment (sewage and septage) and water supply. These guidelines dictate the conditions that must be met for any future development.
There are two aspects to the problem: (1) Tiny has to take care of its existing development and, more importantly, (2) future development cannot occur without full servicing.
Tiny has to address the waste water treatment issue if its wants to replace the crippling loss of commercial assessment under restructuring. The problem of waste water treatment and its solution affects the municipality’s future residential and commercial development.
If Tiny is to remain independent, it will be the Municipality’s responsibility to address the waste water treatment issue. If these responsibilities are not addressed, Tiny could be restructured into a municipality that does have sewage treatment. The present Tiny Council is giving careful consideration to each decision it makes regarding waste water treatment so that the Township does not limit its future development possibilities or allow itself to become dependent on a costly service provided by another municipality.
With this in mind, Council voted on April 10, 1995, not to take part in an environmental assessment hearing to establish an area facility for sludge storage. Council based its decision on the fact that Tiny’s development uses septic systems and holding tanks; Tiny produces septage. Tiny doesn’t produce sludge and, therefore, has different concerns to address. Sludge storage is not a problem for Tiny.
The problem for Tiny would be the exorbitant cost of becoming dependent upon an area facility, limiting development and increasing assessment on the existing residential properties.
It has been indicated to Tiny Township that treatment of septage through the Midland treatment plant would cost $28.00 per cu.m. and would include capital cost recovery of Midland’s plant expansion. In other words, if Tiny uses Midland’s sewage treatment facility, Tiny would be paying for part of the capital cost of Midland’s plant expansion. The $28.00 per cu.m. treatment cost is much higher than the cost to pump out a septic tank today.
Should Tiny take its septage to Midland, Tiny would incur a yearly treatment cost of $160,000 plus additional storage fees, all new costs for Tiny to finance.
Given the fact that a septage treatment facility is a critical issue and costs are sky rocketing, Councillor Evelyn Klym said: “This Council has given the matter thoughtful consideration and is presently looking for alternate solutions. When we have an opportunity to discuss these, Council will be happy to share this information with its taxpayers.”
Mayor Anthony Lancia stated: “This Council is committed to putting Tiny first and working on behalf of all its ratepayers.”