Prior to the summer break for Clarence-Rockland city council, Suzanne Jolicoeur asked councilors to something about the water situation for her and other householders in Cheney whose wells were affected by a nearby residential development.
« I want to make council aware of the situation we are living in on Russell Road in Cheney, » said Jolicoeur.
Jolicoeur’s house and that of a neighbour are located adjacent to a residential development that was begun in 2010 at the corner of Russell Road and Drouin Road in Cheney. Jolicoeur told council that she and other householders in the area expressed concern during the public hearings that preceded municipal approval of the project that the residential septic systems of the development could affect their well water. During the past few years now, Jolicoeur has had to have water brought in by tanker to fill her well.
« This is a health and safety issue, » she told council.
Council directed municipal staff to investigate and report on the issue. Director Julian Lenhart of the infrastructure and planning department presented council with a seven-page report during its August 23 committee of the whole session.
Lenhart noted in his report that the South Nation Conservation Authority has determiend that
« some septic systems in this project are located too close » to the surface wells of the homes at 494 and 500 Russell Road with « a high risk of contamination » to the wells.
The solution proposed in Lenhart’s report is a looping of a 435-metre extension of the municipal water main to allow the houses at 446, 494 and 500 Russell Road with connection access to municipal water. All three properties have shallow well systems that are at risk of contamination from the neighbouring subdivision’s residential septic systems.
Both the housing project developer and the city would share the cost of looping the municipal water main. The city’s share of the cost would be$275,941.93, not including HST, with the money taken from the municipal water reserve fund. The city would also pay all the cost of the service connections to the affected residences.
Councillor Andre J. Lalonde asked if there would be a « post-mortem » review of the issue so that future councils « can avoid such problems. »
Council voted to accept Lenhart’s report with its recommendation for a final decision on the issue during the first regular council session in September.