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Emo awaiting word on water intake project


The deadline for public comment on a report about Emo’s water intake system passed Monday with no residents giving their input, administrator/clerk-treasurer Brenda Cooke said Tuesday.

“Nobody came in to comment on it,” she noted. “The next step is it’s final and we’re hoping that [the Ontario Small Town and Rural Development Initiative] will fund it.”

Emo council now will await word from the Ministry of the Environment on the water intake system—the most important item on its agenda.

“The OSTAR project would come first before any other capital project,” Cooke remarked.

R.J. Burnside and Assoc. Ltd. of Orangeville, Ont. prepared the class environmental assessment (EA) to determine an ideal location and the best type of water intake structure for the community’s raw water supply.

They said the structure would have to withstand external factors, noting the current intake system has been exposed to several, including ice damage, siltation, and low flows which compromised the township’s water supply.

R.J. Burnside recommended a new intake system be constructed with a low-profile structure that includes ice protection 20 metres upstream and 150 metres from the shore.

The total capital cost of this option would be $166,000 if a new intake line was used at the proposed location.

To reduce the cost of this option, while still ensuring the supply was not compromised, the existing intake line can be used with an attachment that would extend to the new location, the company said.

The integrity of the existing intake line would be reassessed before construction, it noted.

Emo council has decided on relocating the intake, with the existing line to be used with an attachment to extend to the new location.

This system would require only 50 metres of new intake at a cost of $118,000.

Emo has been experiencing low-water problems for years. Previously, council lowered the intake pipe in hopes of ensuring a dependable water supply.

Council also tried to drop another line further down, and enforced a bylaw restricting non-essential water use last August due to the overuse of treated water during dry weather.

Emo’s water treatment plant was not able to produce water fast enough to keep up with usage.

A Class EA is a planning procedure developed to ensure potential social, economic, and natural environmental effects are considered during the planning of municipal projects.

It seeks input and approval from regulatory agencies, the municipality, and the public.

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