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New draft Wastewater Betterment Charge By-law: Your chance for feedback

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Did you know that new development, including adding a second dwelling unit to your current residence and changing a commercial use, may be subject to a development charge?

Next month, Bridgewater Town Council will be debating the implementation of Wastewater Betterment Charges for new development, whether the development is residential, institutional, industrial, or commercial.

In 2009 the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) introduced a requirement for all municipalities to have no wastewater overflows resulting from development and the elimination of overflows by 2039.

WHAT IS A WASTEWATER OVERFLOW?

A wastewater overflow is when stormwater from a rain storm overwhelms our sewer system, resulting in rain water and sanitary sewer water mixing together. This causes sewage to enter the environment through our storm system, and rainwater to go into our sewage treatment plan. This occurs because of older combined sewer-stormwater systems that were designed and built many decades ago.

The Town of Bridgewater currently experiences significant wastewater overflows during wet weather events. To try to address this and achieve the national target to eliminate overflow events while permitting new and continued development, the Town of Bridgewater is proposing a new Wastewater Betterment Charge By-law.

WHY A BYLAW?

The Wastewater Betterment Charge By-law will establish a new fee that will be collected from anyone adding a new unit to their residence, as well as any new construction (residential or commercial).

These fees will be collected at the development stage of the construction and will be used to fund wastewater offsetting projects, studies, etc., that will assist the Town in reducing overflows within the wastewater system.

The new draft by-law will be brought to Town of Bridgewater Council for consideration in May 2021. Prior to Council review, this new draft by-law is being introduced to the public and both residential and commercial developers for their review and comments. Feedback received will be considered and potentially incorporated into the draft by-law before it is considered by Town Council.

We encourage the public to review the draft Wastewater Betterment Charge Bylaw and FAQ Sheet and provide input on the proposed by-law using the contact form below by no later than May 10, 2021.

To download a copy of the draft by-law or read our FAQ sheet on the proposed by-law, please visit www.bridgewater.ca/betterment. While there, you can also fill out the form on that page to provide your input on the draft by-law.