Markdale Wastewater - Municipal Class Environmental Assessment

Project Background

Project Background

The Municipality of Grey Highlands is undergoing a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) to assess the capacity of the Markdale Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). The EA process will look at the ability of the Markdale WWTP to accommodate increased demands from future development. If improvements are needed to the treatment process, both operational and infrastructure improvements will be identified.

This Assessment will consider the following key issues:

  • Project future sewage flow and loadings from industrial users.
  • Determine the adequacy of the existing WWTP at the projected flow and recommend improvements to allow the WWTP to meet future flow requirements. Review the suitability of the current WWTP system and biosolids management strategies against the future organics loading.
  • Evaluate whether further re-rating of the facility can be accommodated, or it long term and robust solutions are needed.
  • Determine the feasibility of a headworks being incorporated into the WWTP.

The Municipality is working with consulting engineers J. L. Richards & Associates Limited for this project.


Class EA Process

The EA is being conducted in accordance with the Phases of the Municipal Engineers Association Municipal Class Environmental Assessment for a Schedule C project.

  • Phase 1 - Identify the problem or opportunity.
  • Phase 2 - Identify alternative solutions to address the problem or opportunity by taking into consideration the existing environment, and establish the preferred solution taking into account public and review agency input. At this point, determine the appropriate Schedule for the undertaking and document decisions in a Project File for Schedule B projects, or proceed through the following Phases for Schedule C projects.
  • Phase 3 - Examine alternative methods of implementing the preferred solution, based upon the existing environment, public and review agency input, anticipated environmental effects, and methods of minimizing negative effects and maximizing positive effects.
  • Phase 4 -Document, in an Environmental Study Report, a summary of the rationale and the planning, design and consultation process of the project as established through the above Phases. Make this documentation available for comment by review agencies and the public for 30 days. Wait another 30 days after the comment period to see if the MECP issues a ‘Section 16 Order’ or a ‘Notice of Proposed Order’. Under either Order, the project can only proceed to Phase 5 after all the Order’s conditions are fulfilled.
  • Phase 5 - Complete contract drawings and documents. Proceed to construction and operation, monitor construction for adherence to environmental provisions and commitments. Where special conditions dictate, also monitor the operation of the completed facilities.

Project Updates

Next Steps

Phase 3 Field Studies

  • Stage 1 Archeology Assessment
  • Terrestrial Ecology Report
  • Hydrogeologic Field Assessment


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Jenn Eagan

Environmental Compliance Specialist

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