Implementing a sanitary sewer system in the Village of Nobleton will eliminate the environmental issues that can often result from aging and failing septic systems.
Some of these septic systems are more than 50 years old, and the underlying clay soils in the area have contributed to the failure. Studies undertaken over the past 15 years indicate that more than 25 per cent of lots have existing or potential problems.
One study in 1994 (Anderson, R.V. and Associates and Gartner Lee Limited) demonstrated that based on air photo interpretation alone, some 23 per cent of developed lots showed wet conditions potentially associated with moisture-stressed septic systems. Results of a door-to-door survey encompassing 206 lots identified existing or potential problems in 30 per cent of the lots. The greatest number and variety of problems occurred in the core areas of the community and in the older western subdivisions. In these areas, homeowners complained of sewage odours in their basements, ditches or back yards, particularly in the spring and late fall when natural soil moisture content is high. Sewage odours were also documented by field crews conducting studies in 2001 (Gartner Lee Limited).
In the fall of 2001, studies conducted on a series of local creeks in the core of Nobleton showed a combination of high phosphorus, ammonia, nitrate and E.coli counts. These conditions indicated inputs of sewage to the creeks, consistent with failing septic systems. E. coli counts were as high as 62,000 counts/100ml.
Nobleton’s failing septic systems are causing effluent to enter ground and surface water flowing to tributaries of the Humber River. It’s been proven that septic systems are the cause of this environmental concern because caffeine – which is found in sewage, but does not occur naturally – has been identified in samples of water taken from the tributaries that flow through the Village. Further, while no health risks have been documented, there is a potential risk of septic system effluent making its way into local wells.
With the new sanitary sewer system, wastewater will be treated at the new water pollution control plant before being discharged to the Humber River.
The new system is part of King Township’s commitment under Ontario’s Clean Water Act to eliminate potential risks to local water sources and take action to reduce or eliminate those risks. Please read the Clean Water Act for more information. Under the act, efforts are being undertaken in the greater Toronto area to protect sources of drinking water, including work to eliminate effluent to water supplies. In King Township, this includes implementing a sanitary sewer system in Nobleton to protect municipal wells in its core from which residents obtain their water. Please visit the CTC Source Protection Region website for more information regarding source water protection.
The Nobleton sewer system project will result in a decrease in the amount of phosphorous discharged to the Humber River - from 246 kg per year to 80 kg per year - as a result of decommissioning of septic tanks and treatment of the waste water, based on the Village’s current population. E. coli, ammonia and nitrates will be removed from the treated effluent at the waste water plant.