Last June, the Municipality approved an application to the Federal government for funding to replace straight pipes along the Lower LaHave River. There are an estimated 600 straight pipes putting raw sewage into the river and testing has shown that the level of fecal contamination exceeds federal standards for swimming or boating.
The Federal Government is expected to make a decision by the spring of 2017. If the Federal Government approves the funding, then the Municipality can proceed with launching the program. If approved, eligible property owners would apply to the Municipality for the replacement of their straight pipe. MODL will manage the design and installation of an approved on-site septic system for the property. The property owner will be charged for any project costs not covered by grants and will have up to seven years to pay off the cost. As a result, no municipal tax dollars will be spent on the systems. At the end of the seven years, ownership of the system will transfer to the property owner.
Under the proposal, properties are eligible if:
- It is in the proposed Wastewater Management District;
- There is a straight pipe on the property;
- The owner agrees to pay for any capital costs not covered by grants and maintenance costs of the new septic system.
The Municipality has been a leader in trying to get the province to change environmental regulations so that straight pipes can be eliminated once and for all. We will continue to advocate for point of sale legislation which would, in the long term, replace all straight pipes with appropriate septic systems.