News Local

New fees for septic disposal

By Staff, Selkirk Journal

Council for the RM of St. Clements had determined that to ensure fair and consistent user pay system for RM sewage utilities that all users of lagoons in the RM should pay the same fees.

In 2015, a new lagoon was constructed in East Selkirk to service the centre and southern portions of the RM.

In 2016, as required by the RM’s lagoon operating license, gates were to be installed at both the East Selkirk and Grand Marais lagoons. These electronic gates track users so all users pay their fair share.

The Public Utilities Board estimated an annual operating cost for the Grand Marais lagoon at $198,623.

A large percentage is covered by the inclusion of taxation revenues paid by the properties of Sunset Bay in the amount of $117,623, leaving $81,000 needed to be raised through lagoon fees. To raising funds for operational costs, the RM stated it’s also important to protect Lake Winnipeg as harmful algae blooms have been increasing in size and frequency on the lake. This contaminates beaches, reducing water quality and damaging important fishing and tourism industries. Algae blooms are the result of eutrophication - a condition caused by an over-abundance of nutrients.

The Grand Marais lagoon also features a constructed wetland which helps remove nutrients prior to any discharge into Lake Winnipeg.

All sewage utility rates in Manitoba (outside of Winnipeg) are set by the Public Utilities Board. RM staff followed a rate development process provided by the PUB and decided on a charge of $ 5.50/cubic metre. Two public hearings took place in the RM - March 13 and 15. After these hearings the PUB will review the rate study and public feedback and decide on a rate.

Septic trucks will be charged on a per load basis based on the size of their tank. It’s assumed the various trucks will be 100% full. A truck at 50% storage capacity will be charged the same rate as a full truck.

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