Henderson Sewer Project

South Henderson Wastewater Status

Download Henderson Highway Area Wastewater Plan infographic

We have been looking at options to expand wastewater capacity for the South Henderson Highway area, which has wastewater pipes in the ground with the potential to service 600 homes but a current capacity to service about 100 homes. The pipes are hooked up to the twenty-five year old Lockport Wastewater Treatment Plant (LWWTP).

Council has carefully considered five options for providing more wastewater treatment capacity to this area. In 2014, a feasibility study was completed to examine the option of expanding the Lockport WWTP. Shortly after this feasibility study was completed, the RM of St. Andrews signed an agreement with the RM of West St. Paul and the City of Winnipeg to pipe wastewater for treatment to the North End Sewage Treatment Plant in Winnipeg. Council then studied the possibility of joining this partnership an alternative to constructing a new wastewater plant.

Although this option was more attractive than the new treatment plant, the study showed high hook up and operational costs as well as limited capacity. We then looked at three other options including hooking up to the RM of East St. Paul’s wastewater treatment plant, constructing a new wastewater lagoon near the Lockport Industrial Park and using the existing wastewater lagoon in East Selkirk. More details are available in our report titled  Wastewater Collection and Treatment Options for Henderson Highway Catchment area

 

After careful analysis, it appears the option of connecting the Lockport Treatment Plant to the new East Selkirk Wastewater Lagoon offers the best combination of price and operational costs as well as the shortest timelines. The next step is to undertake a preliminary engineering study to establish more exact estimate costs and develop tender documents. At the same time we will seek grants to help pay the capital costs for this important project.

Introduction

New sewage infrastructure along Henderson is an important part of the RM’s commitment to protecting the health of our residents and our water supply, both for today’s St. Clements families and for future generations.

In the immediate term, the St. Clements Regional (Henderson) Sewer Project will allow the RM to permanently resolve a Health Order that has been in place since 2001 after testing revealed high levels of coliform bacteria in ditch water near Old River Road.

In future project phases, the new sewer line will also provide an option for other property owners along Henderson to connect, should there be interest in doing so. We are committed to keeping property owners fully informed at each stage of this important project and will continue to provide responses and information over the coming months. Information will be shared through updates on the website, emails and letters. Questions will continue to be answered to the extent possible on the project FAQ page.

Project Overview

Henderson Sewer Project map

St. Clements is building a permanent sewer line along Henderson Highway from the Old River Road area up to Lockport.

This new sewage infrastructure along Henderson is an important part of the RM’s commitment to protecting the health of our water, both for today’s St. Clements families and for future generations.

The type of low-pressure sewer system being installed has been used throughout Manitoba for several decades and is most commonly used to service existing low-density developments such as the Henderson Highway area. This approach was favoured over the gravity systems traditionally installed in dense urban settings due to less excavation and minimal disturbance to roads, utilities, trees and landscaping.

As the main sewer lines are installed, it will be important to determine the level of public interest in future hook-ups, which would need to be aligned with the processing capacity of the Lockport sewage treatment plant. Apart from the Old River Road homes affected by the current Health Order, the RM will not require any property owner to connect should they not wish to do so.

Background and History

In the late 1990’s, Manitoba Conservation conducted tests on ditch water in the Old River Road area in St Clements and found that the water contained high levels of coliform, which would indicate that the septic field in the area were not functioning properly and were “breaking out” into the drainage ditches. In 2001, the Medical Officer of Health issued an order to the RM of St. Clements to develop plans to abate the insanitary condition. This order has been in effect ever since.

Originally most of the septic fields in the Henderson Highway, south of Lockport were installed in small lots with soils that are not suitable for fields. Current Provincial regulations require a minimum lot size of 2 acres for possible use of septic fields.

Following the health order, and as part our commitment to protecting the environment, the RM of St. Clements has been working with the Provincial and Federal governments to develop and fund a sustainable solution to the problem in the Old River Road area and adjacent areas where sewage breakouts directly impact water health and public safety.

Project Funding and Costs to Property Owners

Roughly two-thirds of the $6-million total project cost is being funded through grants the RM has secured through the federal and provincial governments. A connection fee of $12,700 will apply to properties connecting to the new sewer. Only those who are connecting to the sewer will pay the connection cost or any other charges and there is no requirement for homeowners outside the Old River Road area to connect to the new service.

The connection fee funds the municipality’s portion of the costs to design and install the main sewer lines. Initial engineering estimates determined the one-time connection cost to be between $14,000 – $19,000 per lot. A detailed engineering study completed this May, and construction tenders that came in below budget, have allowed the RM to revise the cost to $12,700 per lot (cost subject to adjustment for inflation at time of connection).

Timelines

The new Henderson Highway sewer system will allow St. Clements to effectively and permanently resolve a public health challenge that has persisted for nearly 20 years.
Residents in the Old River Road area have been affected by odours and surface water with high coliform levels since at least the late 1990s. A provincial Health Order was issued in 2001. St. Clements has worked to secure $4 million in federal and provincial funds to finally implement a lasting solution to a long-standing problem.

Fall 2016Result of Stantec’s feasibility study on partnering with the RM of St. Andrews for sewage treatment at Winnipeg WWTP.
Spring 2016Applied for 50/50 funding from the Manitoba Water Services Board for expansion of the Lockport WWTP. MWSB suggested instead that we do a study to determine the feasibility of joining with the RM of St. Andrews in their project to install a sewage system in their south end and hook it up to the Winnipeg Wastewater Treatment plant. Council decided to explore this option and awarded a tender to Stantec Consulting to conduct this study in the spring of 2016. Results are expected in the fall of 2016.
March 1, 2016Sewage system start up for Old River Road residents. Sewage service now available. All sixty-six homes in the ORR have the option to hook up now. All ORR residents MUST hook up within five years, by March 1, 2021.
February 8, 2016Lump sum payments of $12,700 due from Old River Road residents.
Fall 2015Homeowners can start sewage installation work on their property and roads restored. At the request of residents, the RM provided a shortlist of three qualified contractors and detailed installation specifications. Restoration of damage from pipe installation completed on Danko Drive, Miller Creek Road and Old River Road.
Summer 2015Connecting forcemain to Lockport sewage treatment plant: Also modifying electrical and mechanical works.
Spring 2015Connection cost determined: Determined Lockport sewage treatment plant only has capacity to connect to homes in Old River Road at this time. By-law no. 8-2014 was passed, establishing a connection cost for residents of Old River Road
2014-2015Construction of main sewer lines: Crews install pipe along Henderson beginning in spring 2014. Work to be followed by installation of lateral collector pipes along the east-west roads from the Lockport sewage treatment plant and McKay Road, between the Red River and the rail line during summer and fall 2014. A sewer lift station will also be installed at the municipal fire hall.
Spring 2014Sewer levy study and public consultation on hook up, sewage processing capacity and future phasing: A sewer levy study was completed to determine the costs for residents to connect to the new sewer system. Public consultations were held to share information on project progress and gather public input to support decision making on sewer hook-up, future project phasing.
Winter 2013 – 2014Tendering of construction for main sewer lines: Construction tenders for the main sewer lines were tendered and awarded.
2013Sewer system design: Detailed engineering designs are completed for public tendering to construct the sewer project.
2012 – 2013Approvals and grant funding secured: RM received final approval from the Canada Manitoba Build Canada Fund, indicating that the Regional Sewer lines along Henderson Highway will receive $4.0M in grants ($2.0M each from Canada and Manitoba)
2009 – 2012Preliminary study and public consultation: Preliminary planning for a joint public sewer system to service St. Clements and East St. Paul. Subsequently East St Paul chose to leave the project; RM efforts ensured $4-millon in federal and provincial grant funding for the project remained in place for use on the St. Clements plan ($6-millon total).

Frequently Asked Questions

Throughout this project we anticipate citizens will have questions and we are committed to providing a timely, considered response to all queries we receive. As questions are received, we will answer them on this webpage so that citizens can see what others are asking, and understand the answers that are provided. We won’t attribute questions we receive, and if we are asked the same question by more than one person, we will let you know where it may have already been answered.

If you have a question, please review the information below.

About the Sewer System

How will the new sewer system work?

What type of sewer is being installed?

There are two types of permanent sewer lines that are used in populated areas: gravity-fed and low-pressure. Gravity-fed sewers are used in areas that are densely populated, primarily in urban neighbourhoods in cities. Low-pressure systems are used in less-populated areas such as rural or exurban environments, or in areas where development already exists. Consistent with the approach taken in other communities with similar population density and land usage, the Henderson project will be a low-pressure sewer.

The primary benefit of a low-pressure sewer is cost to the property owner. A low-pressure sewer is far more affordable when servicing a lower-density area. The second benefit is that low-pressure system pipes can be installed using a tunneling method that requires minimal excavation and is less disruptive to roads, utilities, trees and landscaping than the gravity sewer systems typically found in urban areas. As in other lower-density areas, a low-pressure sewer requires the property owner to have a new submersible pump installed to bring household wastewater from the home to the sewer connection at the property line. This equipment is normally installed at the time that the homeowner connects to the sewer line.

My property has been damaged by the installation of the main sewer lines. When will it be fixed?

Construction clean-up, including restoration of damaged property, will be done as major construction comes to a close. Under the terms of their contract the contractors are required to complete these tasks within a reasonable time after the installation and pressure testing of the sewers.
Although the significant summer rains posed challenges for clean up in the short-term, most of the landscaping repairs will be complete before winter. The contractor will return in summer 2015 to do a final clean-up and restoration.

Will you be providing water service?

At this point there is no plan to provide water service for this area.

Hook-up timelines & phases

I live in the Old River Road (Phase 1) area. Will my property be affected?

Property owners in the Old River Road area will benefit most directly from the Henderson sewer project and will be required to have their homes connected to the new sewer line. Homeowners in this area have been under a provincial Health Order for the past 13 years after testing revealed high levels of coliform bacteria in surface waters in the area. The sewer project will deliver a permanent solution to a significant human and environmental-health challenge that has persisted for years.

I do not live in the Old River Road (Phase 1) area. Will my property be affected?

Only homeowners included within the Phase 1 Old River Road area (properties under the Provincial Health Order) are required to connect to the new sewer or pay any fees.

There is no requirement for homeowners outside the Old River Road area to connect to the new service and no part of the Henderson sewer project is being paid by general tax revenues or homeowners who are not hooking up.

The sewer pipe installed along Henderson is of sufficient size to accommodate new installations as our community grows, although there remains no requirement for property owners beyond Old River Road to connect. A sewer curb stop is required in front of each property to facilitate connection to the sewer. Curb stops are only being installed at homes within Old River Road.

Future connections: The RM is aware that there is strong interest among some homeowners in the Henderson area (outside of Old River Road) to connect their properties to the new sewer line. Properties located south of Lockport between the river and the railroad tracks can expect to have the option to hook into a sewr system by 2020. The sewer is not a guarantee, as it may be subject to approvals of a local improvement district process, if that’s what is deemed best for that particular neighbourhood.

Do I have to hook up?

Only property owners included within the Phase 1 Old River Road area (properties under the Provincial Health Order) are required to connect to the new sewer or pay any fees. Property owners in this area will have up to five years to complete the necessary work on their property and connect into the system under Provincial requirements.

There is no requirement for homeowners outside the Old River Road area to connect to the new service and no part of the Henderson sewer project is being paid by general tax revenues or homeowners who are not hooking up.

I live in the Old River Road area (Phase 1). When will hook up begin?

All required infrastructure will be in place by the end of 2014 to allow for individual connections to commence in the Old River Road area under the Public Health Order. It is anticipated connections will begin following the spring thaw in 2015.

I own property east of the tracks. Can I hook up?

The priority focus of the current project area is water protection. As such, the current project area includes those properties that are closest to the river. The area between the river and the rail line is also sufficiently populated to make permanent sewage infrastructure feasible. In the future there may be opportunities to extend the sewer line to accommodate additional properties, should population density and the processing capacity of the Lockport treatment plant allow. At the current time, however, the project area includes only the area between the river and the rail line.

Costs for property owners

What will it cost me to hook up?

Only property owners included within the Phase 1 Old River Road area (properties under the Provincial Health Order) are required to connect to the new sewer or pay any fees. Only those who are connecting to the sewer will pay the connection cost or any other charges. The following costs will apply only to properties connecting to the new sewer:

  • Connection fee: $12,700* The connection fee funds the municipality’s portion of the costs to design and install the main sewer lines. Initial engineering estimates determined the one-time connection cost to be between $14,000 – $19,000 per lot. A detailed engineering study completed in May 2014, and construction tenders that came in below budget, have allowed the RM to revise the cost to $12,700 per lot.
  • Cost for work on your property: Approx. $3,000 – $6,000* (contracted and covered directly by property owners) All work required on the homeowner’s own property (to connect their homes to the main sewer line) must be contracted, and costs paid, by homeowners directly. Although the RM will inspect each connection to ensure it conforms, homeowners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of required equipment on their side of the property line.
  • Ongoing utility charge: $67* per month, billed quarterly  The rate for ongoing sewer service is unmetered (no meter will be required on your property). A quarterly flat rate approved by the Public Utilities Board will apply for all homes connected to the sewer.

*2014 costs and rates are shown above. Costs subject to adjustment for inflation and actual cost of borrowing at time of connection.

What are my options for paying the connection fee?

Property owners have two options for payment. You may choose to make a single payment, financing this cost through your own cash reserves, mortgage or by other arrangements through your financial institution. Property owners can also choose to pay the cost of the connection fee via installments on their municipal property tax bill over 20 years at an estimated interest rate of 4.625%*.
*Subject to adjustment for actual cost of borrowing at time of connection.

What would payment for the connection fee be due? (Old River Road/Phase 1 area)

Property owners in the Old River Road area will receive a letter with notice of a pre-payment option of the $12,700 connection fee early in the new year (2015). This option is for property owners who wish to pay the connection fee in full or arrange financing through their bank or credit union.
Homeowners who wish to instead finance the connection fee through installments on their annual property tax bill will make their first installment payment when taxes are due in the fall of 2015.
Though payment for the connection fee is required in 2015, property owners will have up to five years to complete the necessary work on their property and connect into the system under Provincial requirements.

What if I sell my property? Do the sewer connection costs stay with the property?

If you have chosen to pay in instalments with your annual municipal property taxes, the cost of the sewer would become the new property owner’s responsibility.

I own more than one property. Do I pay more?

The connection costs are per lot. If you were to subdivide a property into multiple lots, a connection fee would be paid for each serviced lot.

What factors will determine equipment costs on my side of the property line?

Costs will vary depending on the specific requirements of each property, such as the distance from the home to the property line and whether an existing septic tank will be compatible with the new system. Two-cell tanks in good condition and shown to be water-tight will be compatible with the new sewer. Holding tanks in good condition can often be converted into a fully compatible two-cell tank. If you have an older tank you may need to have a new septic tank installed.

I don’t live in this area. Am I paying for the sewer?

No. The majority of the $6-million total project cost is being funded via the provincial and federal governments. The remaining municipal portion is being paid by those properties who are connecting to the service, capital development levies and the federal gas tax grant. No costs associated with the project are funded by general municipal revenues.

Installation on your property

What about my existing private sewer?

Typical septic installation
For most homeowners, the sewer system will connect to existing septic systems. The main change to the homeowner’s system will involve installing a pump in the septic or holding tank, and running a service pipe to the sewer connection valve at the property line.  If you have a two-cell/dual-compartment septic tank in good condition and shown to be water-tight, it will be compatible with the new sewer system. If you have an older tank, you may be required to have a new septic tank installed. Holding tanks in good condition can often be converted into a compatible two-cell tank. We recommend using a one horsepower pump.

If you currently have a septic field, it will be disconnected from your septic tank and left as is. The liquid that was being discharged to your septic field will now be pumped to the Lockport sewage treatment plant.

What type of contractor should I call about having the required equipment installed on my side of the property line?

Low-pressure sewer systems are common in Manitoba, and many local contractors who advertise sewer services will be qualified to install the piping, pump and related equipment needed to connect your home to the new sewer system. As with any project, the RM recommends that property owners receive several written estimates from prospective contractors.

At the request of several residents at last year’s Henderson Highway Sewage Project Open House, we have compiled a short list of three qualified contractors who understand the work requirements of this project.  You are not required to use these contractors.

Contractor Contact Phone Email
Buus Construction

East Selkirk

Kyle Jonsson 204-482-5031 buus@mymts.net
CLD Excavating Ltd

Clandeboye

Peter Jakabek 204-485-5750 cldexcavating@live.com
Joe Janssen Construction Ltd

Ashfield Road

Joe Janssen 204-799-2476

or 204-338-9585

janssenconst@mymts.net

Will my new system be inspected after installation?

The municipality will inspect the system once equipment is installed and your property has been connected to the sewer line.

What about impacts on landscaping on the homeowner’s side of the property line?

How disruptive is the work likely to be to my yard? Because the equipment and pipes connecting your home to the new sewer are located underground, there will be some disruption to your property when the installation is performed. Your local contractor may be able to use horizontal tunneling to install the piping, which would limit the disruption to existing landscaping.

After I’m connected to the new sewer will I still need to have my septic tank pumped out? How often?

The new sewer system will carry liquid waste to the Lockport treatment plan. Solid wastes will be collected in your septic tank and will be pumped out approximately once every 12-15 months, depending on volume of use.

I heard that I won’t be able to sell my property with the septic field still in use. Is this true?

Manitoba Conservation requires that properties in the Old River Road area (Active Phase 1 area) must connect to the sewer prior to the sale of the property.  Properties outside of the active Phase 1 are not subject to the same requirements.

Here is the relevent excerpt from Conservation Manitoba’s Regulation 83/2003:

Requirement to connect to new wastewater collection system

8.1(1) If a wastewater collection system is installed in an area not previously serviced by a wastewater collection system, an owner of land in that area must
(a) connect his or her wastewater sources to the wastewater collection system; and
(b) take any onsite wastewater management system or privy located on the land out of service and decommission it;
before the earlier of
(c) the passing of a period of five years from the day that the wastewater collection system was installed; or
(d) the transfer or subdivision of the land.

 8.1(2) If land in an area referred to in subsection (1) is transferred, and despite that subsection either or both of the actions described in clauses (1)(a) and (b) have not been completed, the owner of the land — following the transfer — must complete the action or actions, as the case may be, within two years after the transfer.

When will the RM have detailed specifications for installation work on my property available?

Installation of the main sewer line and laterals are underway and expected to be complete by the end of 2014. Once completed, individual properties Old River Road area under the Public Health Order can begin to connect. Further specifications for work or equipment required on your property will be provided later this year once curb stops are installed and prior to any requirement for individual hook-ups. If you have questions specific to your property, you can contact us directly at utility@rmofstclements.com.

Open House

Thanks to all who took the time to participate in the May 2014 Open House, ask questions and share their views on this important project. A summary report on what was heard during consultations has been prepared and is now available:
Henderson Sewer Public Consultation, July2014 [pdf]

The RM has reviewed the comments, questions and input received during the public engagement program, and is taking action in several areas as a result of the feedback received. We are also committed to further considering the public input received as part of future planning and decision-making related to the Henderson Sewer Project.

As of July 2014 actions taken by the RM of St. Clements as a result of public input are:

  • RM is now pursuing arrangements in order to extend a 20-year financing option for the sewer connection fee to those homeowners in Phase 1 who wish to finance the hook-up cost through installments on their tax bill.
  • Clarity on costs and timelines for Phase 1 (Old River Road area) property owners provided in a July 2014 letter to residents and posted on the website.
    The RM will assist with pre-screening contractors qualified to do the installation work on the homeowner’s side of the property line. This information will be available to property owners in late fall 2014.
  • The RM will develop a detailed specifications sheet with the project engineers for equipment and work required on the homeowner’s side of the property. This information will be available in late fall 2014.
  • The RM will conduct further engineering study and explore grants to expand capacity at the Lockport sewage treatment plant in order to address the additional demand outside of Phase 1.
  • The RM is currently evaluating whether there is any opportunity for property owners outside of the Old River Road area to connect to the system as part of Phase 1. Once a decision is made, it will be shared with residents of the RM of St. Clements.

You can view materials from the May 2014 open houses here:
Open House Information Boards
Costs for Property Owners
What Happens on Your Property & Required Equipment