ENVIRO: Municipal Wastewater Woes

Towns across the province are facing pressure to comply with the new Federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER), which came into effect in 2012. Under this system, towns need to register and monitor wastewater. This means many towns will need expensive system upgrades, and for municipalities
with no sewage treatment at all, it poses an even greater challenge.

Marystown recently piloted two innovative systems for dealing with wastewater – the Abydoz engineered wetland system and the BMSna Blivet system for
sewage treatment, something that Sam Synard, Mayor of Marystown, is keen to mention. “I am really proud to say that as a small town, we have piloted these systems,” he says. “It shows that we are trying to be good stewards.”

“We need pilot projects that will use innovative, cost-effective solutions that can be replicated in different communities facing similar challenges.”

-Shelia Fitzgerald, Mayor of Roddickton-Bide Arm and Vice-President of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador

But is isn’t enough. Synard said the community has over 30 sewage outfalls. Because of the geography, one main sewage treatment station is not an option. Under the regulations, they still require a solution.21314454_10154677161130723_8140353490689920989_n

Synard is not the only one looking for a solution to a seemingly impossible problem. Sheila Fitzgerald is the Mayor of Roddickton-Bide Arm and Vice-President of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL), the organization representing municipalities across the province.

“We need pilot projects that will use innovative, cost-effective solutions that can be replicated in different communities facing similar challenges,” Fitzgerald explains Fitzgerald said they are willing to meet the expectations of the regulations. They need help to develop a plan, and they need resources. Synard shares the sentiment. “We want to do our part,” he says. “But we need partners and they have to come to the table with money.”

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