Why do we need a new sewer system?
Reinfeld and Schanzenfeld have seen significant growth in recent years. We have more people in our communities with more wastewater to be treated from sinks, showers and toilets. Unlike some other areas, we also have high ground water conditions, which means septic fields can easily become saturated and begin to fail.
While many of these onsite septic fields function without issues, the potential for problems increases as they age. Because our current septic field systems treat wastewater in place instead of removing it from the area, failing septic fields cause unpleasant odours and in some cases surface water and soil becomes contaminated with bacteria.
There is a growing concern regarding the future of communities relying on septic fields as the only means of wastewater treatment.
- Septic fields typically will have a life span of approximately 20 years, when repair or replacement becomes necessary. (dependent on various factors)
- They do not remove wastewater from the community, but rather provide onsite treatment.
- They are affected by the unpredictability of Manitoba conditions from spring thaws to high water tables.
- Septic fields also perform differently depending on soil conditions, ground water levels, and when a large number of septic fields are located within close proximity to one another.
- Septic fields take up a lot of space on properties. Without them, owners can make full use of their yards without worries around blowouts, odors or expensive repairs.
A new sewer system will provide a long-term, community-wide solution.
Why we need to act now
- The RM is anticipating receiving significant funding from the federal and provincial governments. The Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Fund is expected to cover as much as 73% of the total cost of the sewer project. There is no guarantee this funding will be in place in the future.
- In 2018, the RM was able to sign an agreement with the City of Winkler which will allow wastewater from Reinfeld and Schanzenfeld to be treated at the new proposed Winkler Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.
- Interest rates are currently low. In the future, the costs of financing the project may be much higher.
- Government regulations around treatment of wastewater are becoming increasingly strict. Safe, reliable and affordable options may be unavailable when septic fields fail.