Project Background

In 2014, the Town of Erin completed a Servicing and Settlement Master Plan (SSMP) to address servicing, planning and environmental issues within the Town. The study area for the SSMP included the Village of Erin and Hillsburgh as well as a portion of the surrounding rural lands. The SSMP considered servicing and planning alternatives for wastewater and identified a preferred wastewater servicing strategy for existing and future development in the study area. 

In 2015, the Town of Erin initiated the Urban Centre Wastewater Servicing Class Environmental Assessment (UCWS EA), with the objective of completing the Class Environmental Assessment process for wastewater servicing within Erin Village and Hillsburgh based on the general alternative solution developed during the SSMP.

The Urban Centre Wastewater Servicing Class EA followed the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Schedule "C" process. 

Study Objectives

The objectives of the Urban Centre Wastewater Servicing Class EA were to investigate and refine the preferred general alternative identified in the 2014 Servicing and Settlement Master Plan, along with determining the preferred Wastewater Servicing solution for the existing residents and future developments with the communities of Erin Village and Hillsburgh.

Public Consultation

A comprehensive public consultation program was developed as part of the Urban Centre Wastewater Servicing Class EA process, to promote two-way dialogue with the general public, local businesses, interest groups, review agencies, and Aboriginal communities. This consultation program included the creation of a special Public Liaison Committee, made up of members of the community to provide ongoing input throughout the completion of the EA, along with hosting Public Information Centres (PIC's) at key milestones through the EA for the general public and interested parties to provide input.

Servicing Capacity

Based on the use of best available treatment technology within the Wastewater Treatment Plant and maintaining acceptable effluent discharge limits into the West Credit River, it was determined that the proposed Wastewater Treatment Plant could accommodate an Average Day Flow (ADF) of 7,172 m3/day.

This wastewater capacity would provide servicing for a potential residential population of 14,599, plus servicing for an equivalent residential population of 4,314 for existing and future commercial/ employment lands.

Preferred Solution

The Preferred Solution identified within the Urban Centre Wastewater Servicing Class EA was a wastewater collection system conveying all wastewater flows to a single wastewater treatment plant, to meet the existing community's wastewater servicing needs and support future population growth. The preferred solution further presented that the wastewater treatment plan would be located on one of two properties at the intersection of the 10th Line & Wellington Road 52 south of Erin Village, with treated effluent being discharged to the West Credit River on the west side of the bridge on Winston Churchill Boulevard, north of Wellington Road 52. 

Environmental Study Report (ESR) Public and Agency Review

At the completion of the Urban Centre Wastewater Servicing Class EA an Environmental Study Report (ESR) was prepared and published in May 2018 for the formal 30-day public review period. During the 30-day public review period three (3) Part II Order requests were received by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP). At the request of the MECP, the study team provided detailed responses to MECP in relation to the Part II Order requests. 

Subsequent to the MECP's review of all the information, the Ministry issued responses to the three (3) Part II Orders on August 29, 2019 and concluded that all concerns had been adequately dealt with in the Environmental Study Report and that an individual environmental assessment would not be required as a result of any of the Part II Order requests. 

With the issuance of the Ministry decision, the Town's Class EA process is complete and the Town can proceed with the project, subject to obtaining the necessary funds and appropriate agency approvals. 

Estimated Costs

The Urban Centre Wastewater Servicing Class EA identified the costs for the proposed wastewater system at approximately $118.M. This estimate includes costs for the collection system, wastewater treatment plant and the outfall and are broken down in the table below:

System Component Estimated Cost 
(2017 CAD)
Collection System $55,211,000
Wastewater Treatment System $61,381,500
Outfall $1,606,760
Total $118,200,000

Financing Options

Subsequent to the completion of the Urban Centre Wastewater Servicing Class EA, Watson & Associated were retained by the Town to develop a Wastewater Servicing Financing Options Study for the implementation of the Wastewater Servicing solution. The Financing Options Study proposes that the costs be covered by a combination of Federal/ Provincial Grants, Developer contributions and the existing residents. 

Study Documents

The following is a list of the key project documents. This lost of documents may grow as new information becomes available:

Wastewater Frequently Asked Questions:

Wastewater Fact Sheet

Construction Cost: Each existing house, in the urban area, will pay towards the wastewater system and construction of the roads. This amount will be payable to the Town in a lump sum or financed through the Town for up to 15 years.
Average Capital cost: $15,000-$18,000 (this amount will be payable after the house has been connected, payments can be spread out over 10 to 15 years).
Connection Cost: Each existing house, in the urban area, will pay to connect their home to the pipeline. This cost could fluctuate depending on the distance from the house to the pipe.
Average Connection Cost: $4,000 - $8,000
Annual Costs: Once the facility is built and the home is connected, user fees will be applied. The average costs are based off a review of wastewater rates in nearby municipalities.
Annual Average User Cost: $500 - $600
The Town of Erin has been proactively meeting with the Provincial government to secure financial assistance to address wastewater servicing to current residents. New-development is prepared to finance the up-front costs to build the wastewater treatment plant and the trunk lines, and they will be financially responsible for all the costs associated with connecting new-development. The Town is prepared to move forward with a modular system. This will allow us to move forward in a fiscally responsible manner and keep costs down for existing residents. The Town has a limited amount of debt capacity, which will require us to seek external funding from the Provincial and Federal governments, to pay towards connecting the existing community to the wastewater system.
The Town does not expect residents to pay the total costs up-front. Homeowners will be able finance the construction costs through the Town spread out over a 10 to 15 year period. Existing homeowners will not be required to start paying for the system until they are connected to the wastewater system. Based on construction timelines, some properties may not be connected for another 5 to 10 years.
The treated effluent will be discharged to the Credit River, on the west side of the bridge on Winston Churchill Boulevard, north of Wellington Road 52. There are no potential long-term impacts with the construction of the wastewater treatment plant. The Credit Valley Conservation have been a part of the Town’s Environmental Assessment and Environmental Study Report and are satisfied with the proposed effluent discharge objectives and limits. The Environmental Study Report recognized the local ecosystem in the Credit River and determined the appropriate effluent objectives and limits to ensure proper treatment and water quality are set to protect the cold-water fish species in the river.
With the expected increase of population in the Town of Erin, the Credit Valley Conservation authority and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks have worked with the Town to establish the need to move to a communal wastewater collection system. The construction of wastewater infrastructure means approximately 5,000 private septic systems and sewage holding tanks could be decommissioned, significantly reducing the pollution of nitrates and phosphorus to the existing ground water. Without a solution, these pollutants have the potential to reach surface water streams, affecting local fish habitats. In addition, there is also the potential for these contaminants to reach “upper level” ground water aquifers, which may be used by rural residents for their source of drinking water (i.e. shallow drilled wells).
The Town is currently securing financing from new-development and through Provincial and Federal grant opportunities. Once financing has been secured, the Town will be working with engineers on the design of the wastewater treatment plant and trunk mains. Following the design of the infrastructure the Town will go to tender for the construction of the wastewater treatment plant and trunk mains. If we remain on schedule, we are hopeful to see construction begin for the wastewater treatment plant and segment one of the trunk mains in late 2022/ early 2023.
Over the next year, the Town will be updating the Official Plan and creating architectural design guidelines; we will also be reviewing and amending the community design guidelines. These documents will allow the Town to preserve the charm of Erin, as we continue to plan for controlled growth.
To meet the existing community’s wastewater servicing needs and support future growth, a communal wastewater treatment plant will be constructed on one of two properties at the intersection of the 10th Line & Wellington Road 52 South of Erin Village, to service Erin and Hillsburgh. The communal system will also connect the two municipal water systems, eliminating the need for as many new wells to be drilled.

Contact Us:

Joe Mullan, P. Eng.
Project Manager
Ainley & Associates Limited
280 Pretty River Parkway
Collingwood, Ontario
L9Y 4J5
Phone: 705.445-3451
Email: erin.urban.classea@ainleygroup.com

Jessica Spina
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Town of Erin
5684 Trafalgar Road
Hillsburgh, Ontario
N0B 1Z0
Phone: 519.855.4407 EXT. 239
Email: Communications@erin.ca