Problems with the sludge dewatering system with the Town of Three Rivers sewer plant (Montague Sewer & Water Corporation), along with requests to hook up to the system, have lead to the need for upgrades.
Deputy Mayor Debbie Johnston, who is also chair of the Montague Sewer & Water Corporation, said problems with the system, installed in 2015-16, are wintertime dewatering and retention time to age sludge.
The sludge essentially freezes in the cold weather preventing the dewatering from happening.
Also there is an odour problem associated with having to age the sludge for 21 days before dewatering can begin.
Requests have come in from Lower Montague and Brudenell to hook up to the system and Ms Johnston said while the plant is not up to full capacity right now, no additions can be made until the dewatering problem is dealt with.
Close to $1 million is the estimated cost of installing a permanent cast concrete tank which would eliminate both problems.
While the town’s capital works plan has allotted $429, 000 for the project, Ms Johnston said the remaining amount could be applied for through Gas Tax funding.
“It is geared to future need, but we also need to do another step back and be able to service the area we have now,” Ms Johnston said.
“This is the first part of a long term plan and we can’t move anywhere unless we get this problem solved.”
The contract for consulting on this project was awarded to CBCL engineering at a price of $89,000 plus HST.
Ms Johnston also noted the recent addition of 24 apartments and two breweries to the system will soon be followed by three more multi-unit apartment buildings now under construction in the town.