Niagara Region, in collaboration with the Parks Canada Agency, has completed a coordinated federal and provincial Environmental Assessment study to facilitate the decommissioning of the existing Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant including the additional on-site buildings and structures, two aeration lagoons and two facultative lagoons. The Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant and Lagoon Decommissioning Class Environmental Assessment was completed November 2018. The existing wastewater treatment plant has reached the end of its service life and the facility has been replaced with the new wastewater treatment plant.
Located at 1738 Lakeshore Rd., the existing Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant and lagoons consist of two parcels of land. The Region currently owns the parcel of land that contains the two existing facultative lagoons and a section of Two Mile Creek. This parcel was transferred from the Parks Canada Agency to the Region in 1963-64 in order to build the lagoons. Another section of land was leased by Niagara Region from the Parks Canada Agency to facilitate additional construction in the mid 1990s. Together, these two parcels make up the project site and represent the area or lands to be decommissioned.
The 2018 Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant and Lagoon Decommissioning Environmental Assessment was completed in the follow-up to the 2012 Class Environmental Assessment that the Region completed for the design and construction of the new Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant (1550 Lakeshore Rd.). As part of the previous coordinated federal and provincial Environmental Assessment, a Memorandum of Understanding was established between the Region and the Parks Canada Agency. This agreement includes the understanding that if the lagoon lands are no longer required by the Region, they are to return to federal ownership to satisfy federal requirements.
The new wastewater treatment plant is located roughly 800 metres west from the existing plant. The lakeshore property overview can be seen in the image gallery. During the construction of the new plant, a green ash mineral swamp (0.43 hectares in size) was removed from the property. The 2012 Class Environmental Assessment included a commitment to compensate for the loss of this wetland on the existing lands as part of the decommissioning and restoration process. In accordance with the federal wetland policy, the Parks Agency Canada advised that the compensation should be such that there is no net loss of wetland function to the overall Lakeshore property. So, the replacement wetland created on the lagoon lands must maintain the ecological function provided by the green ash mineral swamp and follow the International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration.
The 2018 Class Environmental Assessment reviewed and evaluated three alternatives for the project site. The preferred solution involves the decommissioning of the existing wastewater treatment plant and facultative lagoons and the creation of a wetland and terrestrial habitats.
The ultimate design will take into consideration:
Following final restoration, the Region will ensure maintenance practices don't impact wildlife and fish and will consult with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Best Management Practises for Mitigating the Effects of Roads on Amphibians and Reptile Species at Risk in Ontario (2016) for methods to be adopted as part of future maintenance operations.
fall 2020 to winter 2021
Design and construction phase one: Decommissioning and removal of existing wastewater treatment plant including removal of all buildings, clarifiers and cleaning out of the aeration cells
2021 to 2022
Design phase two: Decommissioning lagoons and site restoration methodology development, conceptual and detailed design
2024 to 2025
Construction phase two: Facultative lagoon decommissioning and site restoration
following construction completion
Five-year monitoring period to ensure survivability of plants and wetland function
Senior Project Manager
Email Lindsay Jones
Prior to phase two consultation, the Region will host a third public information centre to inform the public on the upcoming construction details.