During the Council meeting on September 6, Council received a brief report on the current status of Kemptville’s water and wastewater systems, complete with a summary from the Director of Public Works, Karen Dunlop. The report – which covers the first half of 2022 – identifies one adverse water quality incident due to elevated levels of sodium, and one tertiary bypass of the wastewater system due to heavy rainfall. Other than these two minor incidents, the systems are operating well.
Kemptville is served by this system, whereas residents in other parts of the Municipality have their own private wells. The Kemptville system is paid for only by Kemptville residents, and no charge is levied on rural residents to cover the costs.
One question that Mayor Peckford had for Director Dunlop was regarding a new source well for the municipal drinking water system. Director Dunlop confirmed that approvals have been received for the so-called “Northwest Quadrant Well”. There are currently four wells which provide the source water to feed Kemptville’s drinking water system, with the Northwest Quadrant Well slated to be the fifth. All of the wells are interconnected, and they draw water from a deep and plentiful aquifer which sits below the more shallow aquifer from which private wells in the area draw water.
This means that private well quantities are not affected by new or existing municipal wells. The new well is being added to the system for “balance”, to support domestic flow, fire protection, and growth in the Municipality. Construction and commissioning is scheduled to move forward on the new well within the next 12 months.
Director Dunlop confirmed, following a question from Councillor O’Sullivan, that Kemptville’s water system can sustain the projected growth in the Municipality. This is in direct contrast to the water systems in nearby Winchester and Chesterville, which are so strapped for capacity that water connection allocations must often be the first consideration prior to new housing developments taking place. Council in North Dundas is therefore seeking alternative raw water sources to supplement municipal wells, including the possibility of a pipeline to buy treated water from one of the municipalities along the St Lawrence River. Upcoming upgrades to the water treatment facility in Kemptville are estimated to cost about $39 million, which will be funded through a combination of development charges, a portion from the Solicitor General, and any grants received. The upgrades will not be paid by municipal taxpayers.
Questions from councillors Barclay and O’Sullivan were also asked regarding the tertiary bypass of the wastewater system. Director Dunlop confirmed that water which bypasses the tertiary part of the treatment process during a significant rainfall event does still go through a primary filtration process. She also confirmed that instances of bypass appear to be occurring less frequently, partly due to water-reducing measures, such as low-flow toilets and showerheads.
Council’s last meeting prior to the municipal election took place on September 14. The election is scheduled to take place on October 24.