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The Community of North Shore (Incorporated 1974) was struggling to deal with reports of growing water quality problems in the Stanhope Peninsula area caused by coliform and e-coli bacteria and salt water intrusion. There were many residents who believed that a central water system was urgently needed. However, there were at least as many who believed the problems to be few and far between. The Stanhope Peninsula had been the subject of previous engineering studies by others. However, in 2009, North Shore Council decided that a more comprehensive study of the water and wastewater needs of the whole community was required. Following a competitive RFP process, Engineering Technologies Canada Ltd. (ETC) was awarded the contract to conduct a Long -Term Water and Wastewater Servicing Study.
Public Consultation Key
ETC prepared a Community Profile, which provides background information
on existing conditions relevant to the goal of developing a sustainable and
cost effective plan for water and wastewater management within the Community.
Public consultation and involvement was key throughout the process.
Early on, ETC conducted a survey of all residents and property owners to
gather information on individual septic systems and wells.
Comprehensive Water and Wastewater Needs Assessment
ETC collected, combined and analyzed data sets from North Shore, PEI Geographic
Information Services, Septic permits and the PEI Dept. of Provincial
Treasury (Property Records Division) among many others to create a comprehensive
database for the subsequent needs assessments.
Queries were performed with GIS software using established “needs criteria”
developed by ETC. A lot-by-lot analysis was carried out to identify which lots
would be sustainable in the long-term with conventional septic systems and
which lots were expected to be sustainable with an above-ground septic field,
or advanced, on-site treatment system. The analysis also determined which
lots would likely require an eventual, off-site (ie. central) sewer solution.
Only once the identified water and wastewater needs were accepted by
Council and residents, was an analysis of options and solutions undertaken.
ETC and its team carried out a technical, regulatory and cost-effectiveness
analysis of various conventional and innovative/alternative options.
ETC’s Conclusions and Recommendations
• There are a very small number of unresolved well and septic problems.
Therefore, a central water or sewer system is not warranted at the present time.
• On-going monitoring of new development, and well and septic problems is
recommended to be able to predict when the Community is close to a “tipping
point” requiring central servicing.
• Institute a Septic System Management Program to improve the performance
and longevity of septic systems within the Community.
“ETC successfully delivered the study needed to serve as the framework for the
future of this municipality… it is without hesitation, I recommend ETC to other
municipalities who are considering undergoing a water and wastewater
Sandy Gallant, Chairperson, Community of North Shore