The Wastewater Treatment Plant Project

The Town of Erin is undertaking a project to build a wastewater treatment plant to the Village of Erin and Hillsburgh. Working with the Credit Valley Conservation authority (CVC) and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) it was determined that a new system is the best path forward to keep the community thriving now, and for generations to come.

The new system will carry all wastewater flows to a single wastewater treatment plant. It will support the needs of the community by removing the reliance on the existing septic systems.

After conducting various studies, including an Environmental Assessment (EA) and an Environmental Study Report (ESR), a series of recommendations and guidelines were identified to ensure we are protecting our water resources and that the project remains compliant with the MECP.

Why now?

The reality is, we are falling behind as a town of our size.

Installing a wastewater system will allow us to undertake measured development that is essential to the future of Erin, it will also have positive effects on the economy.

This is growth that we need – growth that we will see gradually over the next two decades. We expect our urban population to increase from 4,415 residents to between 7,000 to 10,000 by 2040.

Being able to welcome more residents and businesses means additional tax dollars to help us replace or maintain the infrastructure we rely on every single day.

We could increase funding to our schools – one of which is currently suffering at only 36% capacity – and we could open new schools to provide our children with more opportunities to succeed.

As our population ages, we need to think ahead to providing a community that can accommodate smaller, more manageable homes for our seniors, and new starter homes for young families.

We need this.

As a community, we will find balanced, smart, and sustained growth that will provide long-term benefits without compromising the values we hold close.

Did you know? 

We currently rely on aging septic tanks and systems that are outdated when compared to systems in other towns across Ontario and are costly to repair. Once the tanks begin to fail – which is happening in our case – it can be harmful to the environment.

We have consulted numerous experts and are following the strictest requirements in the country to ensure there are minimal impacts.

Without this project, our local businesses – the heart and soul of our town – will struggle to exist as the costs of pumping and trucking waste will continue to mount. Currently, the Town’s sewage is transferred to Collingwood, which not only increases the cost of disposal but is not a long-term solution and will not be available as an option forever.

The development of the project will allow for growth over 20+ years, in a smart and thoughtful way. The costs of not doing this are more significant than those to build it. 

Learn more from our Frequently Asked Questions.

The Research

In August 2019, the Town of Erin received the MECP’s approval of the completed Municipal Class Environmental Assessment, allowing the Town to proceed with creating wastewater solutions. This research is ongoing. In preparation for the construction of the wastewater treatment plant, the Town has completed a number of comprehensive studies to ensure we proceed in the best way for our community financially and environmentally:

  1. Servicing & Settlement Master Plan – 2014
  2. Environmental Assessment – 2015
  3. Environmental Study Report – 2018
  4. Wastewater Servicing Financing Options Study – 2019

Growth Management Strategy

An important part of 2019 included the development of a Growth Management Strategy (GMS) for our community. A team of outside professional planners and economists worked with the Town of Erin and Wellington County officials, residents and key stakeholders, on a strategy that will guide growth and investment for the next 20+ years.

Community engagement was vital during this process and was achieved through a variety of mechanisms, including conducting a comprehensive Community Growth Survey, stakeholder meetings, Technical Advisory Group and Steering Committee meetings (including public members), social media posts, Erin Connection newsletters, the Erin Advocate, and through the Town’s website.

Public Consultation

We are committed to ensuring we create a system that is best for our community Throughout the entire wastewater treatment project we have had extensive public engagement. This includes numerous comprehensive studies and public consultations during the GMS. We have consulted with members of our community, local businesses, interest groups, review agencies, and Aboriginal communities.

We are committed to having an open process and encourage input from our community.

The Environment

We have heard residents’ questions and concerns about the environmental impacts of this project. We want to assure you that through all aspects of this process we are keeping the environment at the forefront of our discussions.

We have consulted numerous experts and are following the strictest requirements in the country to ensure there are minimal impacts on the environment.

A significant portion of the ESR examined the treatment of effluent discharge into the West Credit River. The report focused on selecting the most suitable effluent outfall location. Subsequent to the detailed analysis of two separate locations, Winston Churchill Blvd. was selected as the preferred location to reduce potential impacts on brook trout and to utilize higher flows for greater dilution of effluent, despite higher construction costs.

Learn more about each study here.