Q: Why do we need the wastewater project?
A: Reinfeld and Schanzenfeld are currently using onsite septic fields for wastewater treatment. All septic fields have a life of approximately 20 years before repairs or replacement is required, if repairs/replacement are even possible with soil conditions, groundwater levels and increasing government regulation.
A sewer system will remove the wastewater from the community and ensure the long-term future property values in these communities.
Q: Why do we need a project now?
A: The Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba have implemented the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Fund which covers up to 73% of major infrastructure costs. Additionally, The City of Winkler and RM of Stanley have entered into a wastewater agreement that will provide capacity in the new Winkler Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant to service the RM of Stanley, eliminating the need to construct new lagoon/treatment facilities. Financing interest rates currently low, not something that can be guaranteed for the future.
Q: What are the costs for property owners? And when do I have to pay?
A: At this point we know the cost to each property owner in Reinfeld and Schanzenfeld will be in the range of $6,000 to $9,000 for installation of the sewer system throughout the community. This cost won't be due until after the main sewer line is complete, and we are working on developing affordable payment options for property owners.
In addition, property owners will be expected to cover the cost of work on your property when you connect your home to the system, but you would not have to make an actual onsite sewer connection immediately. Once the main sewer system is installed and service is available, provincial regulations requiring properties to connect within five years come into effect, the RM is working with the Province right now to try extend the timeframe. Costs for work on your property vary due to distance to connect, location of trees, fences and other obstacles, but are anticipated to be in the range of $10 to $15 per foot. Depending on the type and condition of your existing sewer pump and septic tank, there may be some additional costs to ensure the sewer pump and septic tank are in good condition and compatible with the sewer system as designed by the engineers.
Once your property is connected and you are using the sewer system you will receive a basic quarterly sewer bill to cover ongoing system operation. We anticipate this will be in the range of $100 to $150 every three months.
Q: Do I have to connect my property to the system?
Connection is mandatory due to provincial regulations but you will not need to connect to the sewer system immediately. Once the sewer system is installed and service is available to you, provincial regulations come into effect requiring that properties connect within five years, or prior to subdivision or sale of the property – whichever is earlier. The RM is working with the Provincial Government to extend the five-year onsite connection requirement, but an extension of the timeframe is not guaranteed.
Q: What is a low pressure sewer?
A: This is a type of sewer where the effluent (liquids) are pumped from your septic tank directly into a main wastewater pipeline which then pumps it out to the wastewater treatment plant. Low-Pressure Sewer systems are common in municipalities where there is less density and properties are larger than in most cities and towns, water tables are high and where sewer is being installed within existing developed communities.
Q: Why was a low pressure sewer selected for this project?
A: A low pressure sewer system is consistent with the approach taken in other communities with similar population density and land usage. It is the right fit for the RM, and a further benefit of a low-pressure sewer is cost to the property owner. Low pressure sewer systems are typically one-third the cost of a gravity system. Low pressure system pipes can be installed using a tunneling method that requires minimal excavation and is less disruptive to roads, utilities, trees and landscaping than the gravity sewer systems typically found in urban areas. A low pressure sewer requires septic tank and pump to be maintained by property owner.
Q: How much will the project cost?
A: The cost to install the sewer mains, lift stations and force mains for Schanzenfeld and Reinfeld is estimated to be $14 million. The cost of this part of the project is offset by $10.2 million in anticipated grants from the federal and provincial governments, leaving the RM’s share at around $3.78 million.
The contribution into Winkler Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant is estimated to be $10.4 million, offset by anticipated government grants of $7.6 million, leaving the RM’s share of approximately $2.8 million for the new construction. An additional $652k would be provided to Winkler representing a contribution towards their existing infrastructure leaving the RM’s total cost of purchasing capacity at approximately $3.4 million.
The total cost to the RM of Stanley is approximately $7.18 million of an estimated $24.4 million project cost.
Q: Where will the sewer lines run?
A: See Maps
Q: Will you be extending service outside of Reinfeld and Schanzenfeld?
A: Not at this point. The system is being constructed to allow future development, however at this point we are focusing only on Reinfeld and Schanzenfeld.
Q: What If I sell my property?
A: Provincial regulation requires that any home sold will be required to connect to the sewer. If a connection fee is put on the property taxes, it remains on the property taxes regardless of who owns the property.
Q: What do I do with my septic field if I connect to sewer?
There is no requirement to do anything specific with it. Connecting to sewer allows you to have that portion of your yard back for you to use as you like.
Q: Where else can low pressure sewer systems be found?
A: Low pressure sewer systems are operating or proposed in many Manitoba municipalities, including:
RM of Headingley
RM of Rhineland
RM of Macdonald
RM of Portage
RM of St. Clements
RM of St. Andrews
Additional FAQs will be added throughout the project.