Septic users should chip-in for wastewater plant, economist says

BARRY’S BAY – An economist with Watson and Associates is recommending to council that septic users in the Madawaska Valley Township should start chipping in for the use of the water and wastewater plant in Barry’s Bay.

Gary Scandlan attended the February 19 water, wastewater and waste management meeting. He was there to discuss the septic holding tank and give advice on establishing septage rates.

The holding tank was added onto the facility when it underwent renovations in 2009. Council of the day made the decision to add the receiving unit after hearing the province was going to prohibit the dumping of septage on fields.

With the help of a government grant that covered 94.54 per cent of the cost of the tank, the unit was installed. The remaining 5.46 per cent capital cost has yet to be paid back by the township.

Madawaska Valley was not the only municipality to install a septage receiving station. Mississippi Mills added a similar unit to its wastewater plant as well.
However, to date, the province has not enforced any laws and septic tank users are not mandated to ship their waste to these facilities.

This means the local receiving station remains dormant.

Scandlan told the committee that since the septage unit has been installed on the wastewater plant, capital rates should be set. 
“There are a variety of different ways that they are slicing and dicing to come up with recovering their costs,” Scandlan began.

Around 3,000 properties in Madawaska Valley use septic systems.

Scandlan said based on his figures, if council wanted to prorate the fee for the wastewater plant use, septage users should pay for 26 per cent of the cost while village residents pay for the remaining 73 per cent of the facility.

Essentially, it would work out to $4.34 per year per septic user. If council wanted the price to include capital and operating costs, that figure would jump to $44.93 per year per unit.

Scandlan said village residents would see a decrease in charges because everyone would be sharing the cost of the wastewater plant.

Get your February, 26, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read this full story.