Glen Walter at ‘end of the line’ for sewer system

LANCASTER – With only nine sewer connections available in Glen Walter for housing development this year, a couple of councillors say this underscores the need to find a solution for the village’s water and sewer supply.

The topic came up Tuesday night (Sept. 8) as South Glengarry council received a report on the annual development allocation for Lancaster and Glen Walter – basically how many water and sewer connections are available for developers.

While most of the connection numbers are healthy – above 100 – there are only nine wastewater connections in Glen Walter. Seven for general development and two for infill development.

There are already 78 previously approved connections in Glen Walter. There are 12 for Phase 3 of the Place St. Laurent subdivision, 20 for Phase 5 of Place St. Laurent, 42 connections for the Purcell subdivision and roughly four connections for lots around the Glen Walter fire station.

“This report really highlights the urgency that council and administration have to make a decision on how we’re going to move forward with water and wastewater in Glen Walter,” Coun. Sam McDonell stated.

“The more connections we put in that area the more people that are helping pay for development we do or any infrastructure we invest in. I personally would like to see something moved on in the near future and I would like to see the township go it alone,” he added referring to the drawn out negotiations with the City of Cornwall.

Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden asked about measures to stop external water from illegally connected sump pumps getting into the system. Infrastructure General Manager Ewen MacDonald answered that the township has the ability to fine a homeowner $1,000 for an illegal connection but it’s “difficult to nail down.”

“We’re right at the end of the line for this system unless we do something,” Warden said.

Last year, the municipality has been so hamstrung by the sewage plant in Glen Walter that council gave previously promised connections for one developer to another on a gamble that the development that they were originally promised to would not be completed.

MacDonald added they have made some improvements to the sewage plant by cutting down the amount of water being processed. “We’re trending in a pretty decent direction so far this year. Instead of 780 cubic meters per day we’re running an average around 730 (cubic meters). It’s a work in progress but something that needs to be a high priority,” MacDonald said.

The township has also spent over a year and hired two consulting firms to come up with a long term solution for Glen Walter’s water and sewer woes but no decision has been made.