Committee grapples with post-event septage

BARRY’S BAY – Portable washrooms are widely used for events in and around the Madawaska Valley.

The issue of where that septage waste should be sent afterwards was the topic of conversation at the latest water, waste water and waste management committee meeting on July 11.
Kevin Chapeskie of Ontario Clean Water Agency was on hand to discuss some ongoing issues that the municipality has faced with post-event waste and septage.
He explained that certain waste after a concert or a public event has often been transported to a local facility, when other waste sometimes gets re-distributed into local fields.
“That concert in Madawaska is coming up again and it’s something we need to look into,” Chapeskie noted.
Councillor O’Reilly added that there should be clear lines of communication between the township and the organizers of any event.
“Should anybody be notified? I don’t know who operates that festival, per se, but it’s something we need to address,” O’Reilly stated.
O’Reilly and the committee agreed that the local waste facility has too much usage at this point to service mass numbers from outside events.
“We are just not prepared to do it at this point in time with everything that’s happening at the plant and we certainly don’t want or have to chase down every operator of every rock concert organizer,” O’Reilly said.
Mayor David Shulist asked Chapeskie about the dumping of this waste and why there are some inconsistencies about it.
“Are they forced to take it to a facility like ours or can they still pump it out in a field? I’m just wondering why is it that these people have decided to go and take the septage to our plant?” Shulist asked.
Chapeskie stated that the nature of the waste means that it needs to be screened at a facility.
“Typically, if it’s from a concert and it’s not pre-screened, there are beer bottles and pretty much everything in there,” he noted. “It’s the ‘and everything’ part that concerns us.”
Chairperson O’Reilly then asked Tyler Peters of Greenview Environmental Management to speak about a consultation and working meeting about a new organic reactor facility.
An organic waste reactor is basically a small facility, that can be indoor or outdoor, that breaks down organic waste.
This was a follow-up meeting to an initial meeting between Greenview and council back on June 21.
Peters put forth a Request For Proposal (RFP) since that meeting involved more specifics about the facility.
“The tasks that we’ve highlighted in here are a facility proposal review and that the facility would [be] cited at the Bark Lake waste site,” Peters said.
Peters added that his company and consultation is seeking out all types of available equipment and methods.
“We are looking for details about operations and environmental stipulations, but we are also interested in seeking out the available types of equipment out there,” he noted.
The RFP outlined four budgetary phases of the project that included everything from different types of site reviews to a conceptual design and detailed cost assessment.
Operations Manager Hilary Kutchoskie was concerned about the budget for the project as it allotted for higher payments as the phases continued.
“We have enough in the budget for the first three phases but for the last one, we will have to wait until the next fiscal year,” he said.
O’Reilly stated the budget can be changed but Kutchoskie insisted that only budgeted monies could go towards the building of the site.

Story continues in the July 18 issue of The Valley Gazette.