Accessibility and Access Keys 
Skip to Content 
The servicing sub-committee of the Richmond Village Community Design Plan steering committee wants an on-site, stand-alone sewage treatment system for new development in Richmond. This system would discharge into the Jock River.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has gone on record as of July 3 that no new discharges of waste water will be permitted into the Rideau River or its tributaries, of which the Jock River is one.
This difference in views means that something is going to have to give one way or the other as the time is fast approaching when a decision will have to be made as to how new development in Richmond is provided with sanitary sewer service.
City of Ottawa Rideau/Goulbourn ward councillor Glenn Brooks, for one, heard the two opposing views expressed at the August 19th joint meeting of the Richmond Village Plan technical advisory committee and steering committee, paying particular attention to the Ministry of the Environment’s view that no new discharges will be allowed into the Jock River, meaning that a stand-alone sewer treatment plant will not be permitted.
“It’s pretty definitive when you say no,” he observed. “No means no.”
But Bruce Webster, chair of the servicing sub-committee, was not swayed, noting that the servicing sub-committee in its view was reflecting the wishes of those in the community.
He acknowledged, though, that winning approval for the stand-alone sewage plant discharging into the Jock River will be challenging.
“It’s a tough row to push that rock uphill,” he said, while adding that whether the sub-committee’s recommendation wins approval or not will be determined by the support which the idea receives when the Community Design Plan goes before Ottawa city council’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and eventually full Ottawa city council. This is tentatively slated to happen in February, 2010.
Councillor Brooks, though, was more pragmatic.
“If you are wishing for something that is already predetermined, you have to go back to the wish list,” he said.
The servicing sub-committee, in its report at the August 19th meeting, recommended an on-site sewage treatment system with an initial capacity to service all new development in the village and with the potential to eventually service the whole village including the waste water now passing through the village via the Munster sewer forcemain. The servicing sub-committee recommended that the discharge from the stand-alone system should be able to meet the Ministry of the Environment’s requirements for discharge into a water like the Jock River.
Also in its report, the servicing sub-committee went on record as strongly opposing any expansion of the existing Richmond pumping station on York Street beside the Jock River. This view puts the sub-committee in conflict with the Mattamy Homes’ draft master servicing study for the village. The draft preferred option determined by this study is expansion of the sewer pumping station. This option is preferred based on a number of accepted, recognized criteria and it was the preferred option when the cost of alternatives was both included and not included in the criteria.
“So, let’s have the most ugly building made bigger,” Mr. Webster responded when the discussion centred around the proposed expansion of the Richmond pumping station. This was a reference to public input received in last spring’s Community Design Plan planning exercise when the Richmond sewer pumping station was identified by participants as the village’s ugliest building.
Mr. Webster said that he did not think that an expansion of the Richmond pumping station would be embraced by the community.
It was indicated at the meeting that city engineering staff agreed with the proposed preferred solution of an expansion of the existing pumping station and continued use of a forcemain to Glen Cairn.
Mr. Webster countered this again with the view that these differing views will be considered when the Community Design Plan goes before city council’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and the full council. He said that he hopes that at that time, councillors will ask for clarification and substantiation of the support for expansion of the pumping station by the city engineering staff, Mattamy Homes and the Mattamy consultants.
Susan Murphy, Mattamy Homes manager for its proposed Richmond project, said that the expansion and upgrading of the Richmond pumping station, if recommended as the preferred option for sewage treatment for the new development, will be examined in more detail in the future. This will include examining how such an expansion would impact the community.
She noted that the pumping station is in the Jock River flood plain and so discussions will be held with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority regarding what the expansion could involve in terms of the building’s footprint on the site.
In response to a question from councillor Brooks, Ms. Murphy admitted that relocating the pumping station had been discussed.
“It becomes tricky,” she said of such a relocation which would really involve building a whole new pumping station from scratch and then realigning some of the piping to maintain the gravity feed to the facility. It would cost more to do this than expand the existing station.
Councillor Brooks, though, suggested that relocating the station may solve the problems which adjacent residents have experienced due to the pumping station, such as smells emanating from it.