Sewer Connection Presale for the Henderson Catchment Area

New sewage infrastructure is an important part of the RM’s commitment to protecting the health of our natural environment and our residents, both for today’s St. Clements families and for future generations. Allowing property owners the opportunity to connect to the Henderson catchment area sewer system will assist in the transition away from septic fields to more environmentally friendly ways of managing household waste. The provincial government has prohibited both new and replacement septic fields in the Red River Corridor, due to the sensitivity of the area and the harmful substances they can expose. In addition, the sewer system will improve home resale value and will greatly reduce how frequently holding tanks will need to be pumped out, in turn saving you the cost of regular pump outs.

Soon businesses and homes along Henderson Hwy, from the Old River Road area north to the Lockport Business area will be able to take part in our sewer connection presale. This includes all roads west and east (up to the railway tracks) of Henderson Hwy. We will be offering a presale for connecting to the sewer lines for those interested in the service. The presale will be on a first come first serve basis until the end of March 31, 2022 or until all the 290 REU’s are presold (REU – is a Residential Equivalent Unit, which is determined by the size and volume of the building hooking up to the system, this does not mean that we have 290 connections available).

Taillieau Construction will be installing two sewer lines that will be pushed from the Lockport Treatment Plant to the lagoon in East Selkirk, which we are anticipating to be completed by the end of June. By installing these lines, it gives us the capacity to presell 290 REU’s. We are anticipating the homes that take part in the presale will be able to hook up by June 2022. The current base connection fee is $14,302 which may be subject to further change once the presale is no longer available. This cost would cover the connection fee and the curb stop and further costs to the homeowner are listed below. Those residents that wish to participate in the presale will have 3 years to connect to the system. The reason for this set connection date is due to it being a voluntary option to hook up.

The RM will be in touch with those who have expressed interested in January 2022 to inform when the agreement and specifications are in place and we are ready to begin accepting payment for presales.

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Background

Pipes were installed along Henderson Hwy from Old River Road north to Lockport, which connect via a pump at the Donald Lift Station to the Lockport Wastewater Treatment Plant. Homeowners in the Old River Road area had been under a provincial Health Order for 13 years before that new sewer line was installed and operating in 2018. These were among the first homes to benefit from sewer in the area as a permanent solution was created to a significant human and environmental-health challenge that had persisted for years. In 2017, a feasibility study was completed on expanding capacity for the Henderson Catchment sewer. This was completed due to the Lockport Treatment Plant reaching capacity with the 40 homes presently hooked up from the Old River Road area and could not service the remaining 500+ existing homes in the area. At almost 30 years old, the Lockport Treatment Plant is an aging facility that uses older technology. The cost to upgrade the plant was too large and it was determined that the best option was to connect to the East Selkirk Wastewater Lagoon, as the cost to put the lines in from Lockport to East Selkirk had the lowest initial capital costs out of the options and minimizes operational costs and utility bills, as well as it is easier to manage and operate.

About the East Selkirk Lagoon:

  • Currently has a capacity to treat wastewater from about 850 more homes
  • Was completed in 2015
  • Has few residences nearby
  • Underwent a lengthy environmental impact assessment before construction
  • Undergoes regular, rigorous environmental testing
  • Conforms to all current provincial environmental regulations
  • Meets nutrient requirement levels for Lake Winnipeg, which are the most stringent they have ever been

Benefits and considerations

Typical system used in low-density areas

The type of low-pressure sewer system being installed along Henderson Highway has been used throughout Manitoba for several decades and is most commonly used to service existing low-density developments such as the Henderson project area.

Affordability

The primary benefit of a low-pressure sewer is the substantially lower cost to the property owner. Compared to the gravity-fed sewers found in cities, a low-pressure sewer is significantly more affordable when servicing a lower-density area.

Minimizing disruption to traffic, trees and landscaping

The second benefit is that low-pressure system pipes can be installed using a tunneling method that requires minimal excavation; this minimizes disruption to roads, utilities, trees and landscaping.

Requires pump installation A low-pressure sewer requires the property owner to install and maintain certain equipment, including a new submersible pump to bring household wastewater from the home to the sewer connection at the property line. The property owner is responsible for this equipment, which is normally installed at the time of connection to the sewer line.

What to expect

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. 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 East Selkirk Lagoon.

Cost to homeowners

Those participating in the Sewer Connection Presale for the Henderson Catchment Area and voluntarily connecting to the sewer system, will be responsible for three different types of costs. You can also download a PDF outlining these costs.

1. Your share of the public infrastructure cost – $14,302

This cost is on a first come first serve basis until the end of March 31, 2022 or until all the 290 REU’s are presold. This rate will most likely go up once this presale becomes unavailable.

2. The cost of the work on your property – $4,000-$15,000

Homeowners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of the required equipment on their side of the property line. Please note that this cost is determined by many different variables, such as the type of system and the age of that system. As well as there could be challenges on the property such as underground services or distance to the home that makes pushing the pipe more complex.

The best way to determine your costs is to contact an approved contractor.

3. Your share of the cost to operate the system – $198.78 per quarter

Once your household is hooked up to the system, you will receive a quarterly bill for your use of the system. The quarterly bill includes the following amounts set out in By-Law 9-2012.

Quarterly Customer
Administration Fee
$23.41
Minimum Quarterly
Sewer Charge (1.0 REU)
$175.37
Total Quarterly Sewer Bill$198.78

Getting your property ready

As you prepare to hook up to the new sewer system, your contractor will be an extremely helpful source of information. Your qualified contractor can help you determine the work required and costs for that work, as well as making sure all requirements including inspections are met.

It is important that the contractor you hire has the right training and experience for the work so that they can ensure your side of the property is prepared to connect properly for a seamless transition to hooking up to the sewer system.

  • List of contractors
  • List of technical specifications and contractor requirements for the work on your property – this list will be coming soon

Hook-up Procedure

  1. Ensure that you receive specifications for installation from RM
  2. Choose your contractor and provide them with the list of specifications and requirements for the works done on your property
  3. Contact our Public Works department a minimum 48 hours prior to inspection before your contractor begins works. You can contact the office by email or by phone at 204-482-3300 to schedule an inspection
  4. If further inspection is required, Public Works will let you know
  5. Once Public Works confirms that works have been completed to our specifications, we will turn on to connect the system
  6. Once the system is turned on you are now ready to begin using your new sewer system, billing would start at this time

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.

The System

How will the system work?

In terms of connection it will be a seamless process, most people currently have a tank that they are using, the only change you will find is that a pump will be put into your holding tank/septic tank and from that tank it will be pumped to the main line which will flow to the East Selkirk Lagoon. In terms of works, there are already sewer lines along Henderson Hwy as well as lines along the west/east roads (for east roads lines run up to the railway tracks).

What type of sewer is installed?

Consistent with the approach taken in other communities with similar population density and land usage, the Henderson project will be a low-pressure sewer. Low-pressure systems are used in less-populated areas such as rural or exurban environments, or in areas where development already exists. For example, around the City of Winnipeg most of the exurban areas like Headingley, LaSalle, Sandford, St. Francis Xavier, Stony Mountain, all have a low pressure sewer system. 

The benefit of a low pressure sewer system is that it is laid fairly flat at the same grade below ground so that it is less expensive to install the system, which then benefits as it is a system that works and is also affordable. 

Sewer Service Area

Which properties can connect?

Most interested businesses and/or homes along Henderson Hwy from Coronation Road north to the Lockport Business area, this area is known as the Henderson Catchment, can connect to the system. Included are all roads in the mentioned area that run west and east of Henderson Hwy, up to the railway tracks.

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 allow. At the current time, however, the project area includes only the area between the river and the rail line.

I do not live in the Henderson catchment area that is available for hookup. Will my property be affected?

There is no requirement for homeowners outside of the Henderson catchment 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.

Connection

Do I have to hookup to the system if I am in the sewer service area?

No, this is currently a voluntary option for those in the area.

What date must I begin using the sewer system?

Residents that pay for the presale connection have up to three years to complete the necessary work on their property and start using the sewer system by July 1, 2025.

What if I do not connect from my property to the curb stop in 3 years?

After July 1, 2025 those that have not completed the works on their property to connect to the curb stop will be charged the base PUB minimum rate which is $198.78 per quarter as per By-Law 9-2012.

Why is there a set connection date for this area?

The reason for the set connection date is because this is a voluntary option to connect. Other areas in our Municipality with sewer/water were given a longer period of time to connect because it was mandatory.

I own more than one property and want to connect. Will 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.

I have paid the connection presale in full before March 31, 2022, what is next?

All required infrastructure will be in place by end of June 2022. Those that have paid in full by March 31, 2022 will be set up to each have their curb stop and service line, from the main line to the curb stop installed. It is expected that those would be ready to begin installs on their property to the curb stop by end of June 2022 and then be able to begin using the system.

What if I decide I want to hookup after March 31, 2022?

If the 290 REU’s are not full after March 31, 2022 you will still have the opportunity to connect to the system. Please note that the cost for connecting will most likely increase.

What if I am told after March 31, 2022 that all the 290 REU’s are full but I still want to hook up?

We are constantly working towards expanding our sewer and water infrastructure. After the 290 REU’s are full, the next phase of the project would be to decommission the Lockport treatment plant so we can expand capacity and offer more hookups by constructing a new regional pumping facility.

Payment

How much do I need to pay to connect?

The presale option that we are offering for connecting to the sewer line currently is $14,302, which may be subject to further change once the presale is full. Please keep in mind that there are additional fees to the homeowner including cost of the work on your property and an ongoing utility bill.

You can download a PDF of the cost outline here.

What does the presale cost of $14,302 include?

This includes the connection fee and the curb stop.

What are all the different types of fees I should be aware of?

  1. Connection fee & curb stop: $14,302
  2. Cost for work on your property: $4,000-$15,000 (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.
  3. Ongoing utility bill: $198.78, billed quarterly

When is payment for the connection presale due?

Payment in full for the connection presale is due by March 31, 2022. Those that we received payment first will have their spot guaranteed.

How long is this price guaranteed for?

The price will be for the first 290 REU’s or until March 31, 2022, whichever is sooner.

Do we have the option to put the amount due on our taxes?

No, payment is due in full for the connection presale. This is due to increasing rates and we want to guarantee the cost at the current time.

Installation

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 there are many contractors that deal with sewer services and 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.

Which installers would you recommend?

We cannot recommend a specific contractor but we have compiled a list of contractors licensed by the City of Winnipeg that are qualified to do the works in the RM. Or as otherwise approved by the RM of St. Clements. You can download a List of contractors here.

The RM of St. Clements does not guarantee, and does not accept any liability or responsibility for work performed or other actions taken by licensed contractors.

Who is liable for the install?

You will have your own preferred contractor do the installation on your private property. The agreement that you sign with the RM will leave all liability with the property owner.

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

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.

I am ready to begin construction on my property to connect, what is my next step?

Firstly, you should ensure that you are aware of all the specifications and requirements, if not, please contact us. You would then make arrangements with the contractor of your choice. When you are ready for the contracted works on your property to begin, please contact us to arrange an inspection. We would then go out for a pre-hook up inspection to make sure that the equipment on your property has been properly prepared, note details or indicate anything outside of specifications.

Is there any permit required from the RM for the install work?

Yes, we do have a sewer permit. There is no charge for this and it includes an inspection by Public Works to make sure that the work is being done to specs so that you can have the best possible system installed.

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.

Specifications and Requirements

What are the specs?

Our specifications list will be coming soon.

Additional

Will you be providing water service?

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

How will I be billed for sewage usage once hooked up?

As per By-Law 9-2012, the current Lockport rates for 1 REU is $198.78/quarter.

What if I sell my property after paying the fee to connect?

If your home is sold before it is connected, the new owner will have until the designated date of July 1, 2025 to connect.

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 East Selkirk Lagoon. 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 would like to participate in the connection presale, what are my next steps?

If you wish to participate in the presale at the current connection fee before it has the opportunity to increase, contact our office by filling out the Contact Us form below (Category type: Public Works), by email or by phone at 204-482-3300 and provide us with your contact information.

The RM will be in touch with those who have expressed interested in January 2022 to inform when the agreement and specifications are in place and we are ready to begin accepting payment for presales.

More information

If you require more information or wish to take part in the presale, we ask that you first review our FAQ section to help answer any questions. Further, please contact our office by filling out the Contact Us form below (Category type: Public Works), by email at info@rmofstclements.co or by phone at 204-482-3300.

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