Municipal water - Tottenham

Posted On Thursday November 21, 2019

Municipal Water – Tottenham

Dec. 12, 2019: Monitoring and sampling of the effectiveness of the aeration system shows encouraging results in reducing THMs in the Tottenham water system

RV Anderson has been undertaking an 8 week monitoring and sampling phase to assess the effectiveness of the Aeration System that has been installed in an effort to reduce the total Trihalomethane (TTHM) levels in the Tottenham water system.

RVA utilized two methods to evaluate the performance of the aeration system as identified in the attached Technical Memorandum by RVA dated November 29, 2019, being:

  1. Bench Scale Testing – Used to simulate the full scale treatment and distribution system to compare TTHM formation in a non-aerated sample against an aerated sample.
  2. Full Scale Testing – Used to compare the TTHM formation after the aeration system was turned on to the results prior to commissioning.  

RVA advises that based on the bench scale tests, a minimum anticipated TTHM reduction would be in the order of 10%. However, based on the full-scale results from the distribution system, average reductions could be in the order of 15%-20%. Furthermore, based on results from Nolan Road, the highest anticipated TTHM reduction in the distribution system could be in the order of 40%.

The most recent quarterly sample average (2019 – Q4) was 35% lower then the previous quarter (2019-Q3), and 15% lower than the same quarter last year (2018 – Q4). 

RVA recommends that to assess the full impact on the running annual average TTHM level, one full calendar year of results from the Town’s regular compliance sampling program will be required. 

Please see the below attachment "THM aeration performance testing and blending study."

 

Dec. 2, 2019: Frequently Asked Questions: 

Does Tottenham’s drinking water supply meet the Ministry’s regulations?

Yes, Tottenham’s drinking water supply system meets all the Province of Ontario’s drinking water regulations and continues to be in compliance. The provincial government, through the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, regulates our municipal water supply system to ensure water safety and quality. The Town of New Tecumseth strictly adheres to all testing and reporting regulations as set out by the province.

Is the Town of New Tecumseth an accrediting operating authority?

The Public Works Department is an accredited operating authority as defined in the Safe Drinking Water Act. The accreditation continues to be granted by a third-party Accreditation Body through a documented quality management standard that meets the applicable requirements of the Drinking Water Quality Management Standard 2.0. The accreditation is based on a full scope audit of the Quality Management System subject to meeting the “Plan” and “Do” requirements for all twenty-one elements of the Drinking Water Quality Management Standard. 

Why is Tottenham’s water discoloured?

Tottenham’s water is solely sourced from ground water wells and its natural make-up consists of high iron content and naturally occurring organics which is the primary reason for periodic discolouration.

What is the Town doing about the Tottenham water supply?

The Town’s Water Supply, Distribution and Storage Master Plan (WMP) includes a plan to connect Tottenham to the Georgian Bay pipeline in order to meet the long-term Tottenham water supply needs and address the well water quality and reduce discolouration. The long-term solution is a connection to the Beeton water system to provide the primary source water for Tottenham, with ground water wells supplementing peak day demands. 

When will Tottenham be connected to the Georgian Bay pipeline?

The 2020 Capital Budget for the construction of the transmission main and reservoir expansion is $16,385,000. The Tottenham transmission main and reservoir expansion is currently under design and is scheduled to be tendered in the spring of 2020 followed by construction. The project works are anticipated to be commissioned and placed online in 2022. 

What are THM’s (trihalomethanes)?

Trihalomethanes (THMs) are a group of compounds that can sometimes be found in chlorinated water that is drawn from a source with high levels of organic materials. THMs are produced when chlorine reacts with the naturally occurring organics in the source water. As per the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the health risks from drinking water that has not been disinfected are much higher than the perceived risks from disinfection by-products, including THMs. 

The existing Tottenham water supply is provided by four groundwater wells which have challenging natural water quality. There is presence of methane, elevated natural ammonia leading to a need for high chlorine dosages for disinfection, presence of natural bromide and elevated natural iron resulting in aesthetic concerns. The dosage and treatment with chlorine contributes to elevated levels of THMs. 

The Ontario Drinking Water Standard requires the annual rolling average of THMs to be below 100 μg / litre (100 micrograms per litre, or 0.1 mg per litre) of drinking water. As stated on the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s website, “periodic increases in THMs above 100 μg / L have not been found to be associated with negative health impacts.”

The Chief Drinking Water Inspector annual report and 2019 Tottenham Annual Report confirm that Tottenham meets all THM drinking water regulations.

For more information on THMs, you can visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s website at: http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Topics/SafeWater/drinkingwater/chemicalsminerals/THM.aspx#b2bbf7cb-c58d-4547-8843-ddf177f81126 

What is the Town doing to reduce THM’s?

The Town has installed an Aeration System in the Mill Street Reservoir in Tottenham which is now fully active and operating. The next step involves a monitoring and sampling phase in order to establish a baseline to assess the effectiveness of the Aeration System in reducing trihalomethanes (THM) in the Tottenham Water System.

The Town continues to carryout routine maintenance by way of an aggressive distribution system flushing and swabbing schedule aimed at reducing sediment and debris in all water mains. The reduction of water age through automatic flushing stations, shorting the disinfection reaction time to generate THM’s. Minimizing stratification in the Water Tower through mixing and maintaining appropriate storage volume. The continuous monitoring of the disinfection process to ensure an optimum Sodium Hypochlorite concentration while maintaining regulatory limits. 

Where can I find more information?

Please visit the Town’s website at www.newtecumseth.ca/tottenhamwater 

If I have specific health related concerns or questions, who should I contact?

For health related inquiries, please visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org or call 1-877-721-7520.

 

Nov. 21, 2019: The Town of New Tecumseth takes the health and wellbeing of our community seriously and is committed to ensuring our residents’ safety.

Tottenham’s drinking water supply meets all the Province of Ontario's drinking water regulations and the Town is in regular communication with both the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. The Town strictly adheres to all testing and reporting regulations. 

The Town’s Water Supply, Distribution and Storage Master Plan (WMP) includes a plan to connect Tottenham to the Georgian Bay pipeline in order to meet the long-term Tottenham water supply needs and address the well water quality and reduce discolouration. The long-term solution is to replace the Tottenham groundwater supply with a connection to the Beeton water system. The Town is working with Collingwood to secure increased water capacity.

The 2020 Capital Budget for the construction of the trunk main and reservoir is $16,385,000. The Tottenham transmission main is currently under design and is scheduled to be tendered in the spring of 2020 and then expected to be online by 2022.

Tottenham’s water is solely sourced from ground water wells and its natural make-up consists of high iron content and naturally occurring organics which is the primary reason for periodic discolouration. The Water Master Plan includes a plan to connect Tottenham to the pipeline.

The existing Tottenham water supply is provided by four groundwater wells which have challenging natural water quality. There is presence of methane, elevated natural ammonia leading to a need for high chlorine dosages for disinfection, presence of natural bromide and elevated natural iron resulting in aesthetic concerns. The dosage and treatment with chlorine contributes to elevated levels of THMs. The Chief Drinking Water Inspector annual report and 2019 Tottenham Annual Report confirm that Tottenham meets all THM drinking water regulations.

There are two key challenges that contribute to high THM levels in the Tottenham treated water supply.  Elevated bromide in raw water and the chlorine dosage needed to overcome the elevated ammonia levels while maintaining disinfection requirements.  The current infrastructure provides limited to no ability to further optimize the operational processes to reduce THM production.  Consequently, there is no ability to decrease the chlorine concentration to levels that reduce THM formation while maintaining disinfection requirements to ensure the water supply is safe from harmful bacteria.

The Town recently installed an Aeration System in the Mill Street Reservoir in Tottenham. We are currently conducting a 6 to 8-week monitoring and sampling phase in order to establish a baseline to assess the effectiveness of the Aeration System in reducing trihalomethanes (THM) in the Tottenham Water System. This will include additional post-installation bench scale modelling and a distribution system analysis. 

The Town continues to work with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks. For more information on THMs, you can visit the Health Unit’s website at: http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Topics/SafeWater/drinkingwater/chemicalsminerals/THM.aspx#b2bbf7cb-c58d-4547-8843-ddf177f81126

 

News Release Date: October 11 , 2019 

Aeration system active and operating in Tottenham 

NEW TECUMSETH, ON – The Town can advise that the installation of the Aeration System in the Mill Street Reservoir in Tottenham is fully active and operating. The Town continues to work with both the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks in ensuring compliance with the Ontario Drinking Water Standards.

The next step involves a 6 to 8-week monitoring and sampling phase in order to establish a baseline to assess the effectiveness of the Aeration System in reducing trihalomethanes (THM) in the Tottenham Water System. This will include additional post-installation bench scale modelling and a distribution system analysis. Following the completion of the monitoring phase, the Town will provide a further update.

The health unit has information about trihalomethanes in drinking water at http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Topics/SafeWater/drinkingwater/chemicalsminerals/THM.aspx

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Update: April 3, 2019 - thank you for joining us at the Public Information Session Re: Tottenham water held at the Tottenham Community & Fitness Centre on April 2. 

If you were unable to attend, please see the attached presentation from the meeting (below)

If you would like to provide comments, please complete and return the comment and question sheet also attached below. 

Notice of Public Information Session regarding Tottenham water

In accordance with Town Council direction and Council Report ENG-2019-05, the Town of New Tecumseth will be hosting a Public Information Session regarding Tottenham potable water to present information to address water quality concerns raised by residents.  

The Public Open House meeting will be held on the following date and location:

Date:               Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Time:              7 pm to 9 pm

Location:        Tottenham Community & Fitness Centre, 139 Queen Street North,Tottenham, ON, L0G 1W0

The purpose of this Public Information Session is to present information to the public to address water quality concerns raise by residents. Information will

include:

  • natural groundwater precursors, disinfection treatment, resulting THM’s, iron sequestration;
  • recognize on-going operational optimizations to improve water quality
  • to identify proposed water supply solutions to reduce use of existing groundwater wells.

Town Staff and representatives from the Ministry of Health/ Simcoe Muskoka

District Health Unit will be in attendance to assist the public with their questions about the Tottenham water system.

If you are unable to attend the Open House and wish to review the presentation information or provide comments, the information package along with comment sheets will be placed on the Town’s website at www.newtecumseth.ca following the meeting date or you can view in person at the Town Administrative Centre, Alliston or at the Joint Operations Centre, Beeton during regular business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may also contact the Public Works Department at 905-729-0057 x1400 to obtain a copy of the document. 

Update: March 11, 2019 - Tottenham Transmission Main - Project Timing

The 2016 Town Water Supply, Distribution and Storage Master Plan, (WMP) was presented to Town Council in August 2016, for approval to post the document for its 30-day Public Review. As part of this process, an objection (Part II Order) was filed and requested the Ministry of Environment, Climate, and Parks (MECP) review the preferred solutions for the Tottenham water supply. In April 2018, the MECP after careful review of the Part II Order, determined that an individual environmental assessment was not required and allowed the recommendations of the WMP to proceed as presented. 

The preferred solution to providing Tottenham with additional supply and addressing the water quality issues was identified as the construction of a transmission main from Beeton to the Mill Street water reservoir in Tottenham. The transmission main is intended to provide a supply of water from Allison water system to offset the volume of water required from the Tottenham wells and help improve the water quality in Tottenham. 

In September 2018, Council awarded the Route Study and Preliminary design works to RVA for the Tottenham Transmission main. RVA has been actively working on the project and the following timeline has been proposed to complete the project: 

• September 2018 to April 2019 - Route Selection Study

• April/May 2019 – Approval of Route Selection Study and Award of Detailed Design Phase by Council

• 2019 – Final Design / Approvals / Issue Tender

• 2020 – Award Tender / Start Construction

• 2021 – Construction

• 2022 - Commissioning 

This schedule is generally in keeping with the information that was provided to Council through report ENG-2018-38. 

Staff have been working closely with RVA and are satisfied the project is continuing to progress in keeping with the schedule.

UPDATE: On April 13, 2018, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) advised the Town of New Tecumseth on the outcome of its review into the Part II order. The MOECC has decided that an individual environmental assessment is not required for the Tottenham Water Pipeline.  The Town is now able to proceed with the plans to extend the pipeline to Tottenham.

The next steps and anticipated timelines for the Tottenham Transmission Main project are as follows:

  • The 2017 Capital Budget Sheet 2017-009, identified funds for the route selection, additional EA, design and construction of the Tottenham Transmission Main and the expansion of the Mill Street Reservoir in Tottenham.  This budget sheet was carried forward as part of the 2018 budget process.
  • Staff will need to issue an RFP for detailed route selection, which would follow the Schedule B process. Staff will be completing the RFP and anticipate it will be before Council for consideration within the next couple of months. This process would secure the route and is expected to take up to 12 months.
  • Once the route is established, the next step would be to proceed to detailed design for the transmission main and the reservoir expansion, along with any agency approvals required for the work.  This phase is expected to take 12 to 14 months
  • Tendering, construction, and commissioning of the works would be the next phase and is expected to take 12 to 16 months to complete.
  • The complete process will take between 36 to 42 months to complete.  Following this work, the Tottenham water system would be blended with the Alliston supply.

BACKGROUND: 

The municipality has undertaken a Town-wide Water Supply, Distribution and Storage Master Plan (WMP).

To meet the long-term Tottenham water supply needs and address the well water quality and reduce discolouration, the WMP recommended a new water transmission pipeline be extended from Beeton to Tottenham, which essentially extends the Collingwood/ Georgian Bay surface water pipeline from Alliston to Beeton, and then onward to Tottenham. The Alliston/Beeton transmission water supply to Tottenham is proposed to be blended with the existing Tottenham groundwater well water, and it is anticipated that the pipeline supply will service the community’s average daily demands, with the wells only being used to top-up the supply during maximum peak demands such as high-demand summer days. In this approach the blending of the two sources will significantly improve the overall water quality to the community.

The WMP was completed in accordance with the Master Plan provisions of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) guidelines. The final WMP was presented to Council in July of 2016 and submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) for approval in September 2016. The MCEA protocol requires a 30-day public review of the Master Plan, which began September 8, 2016. During the Public Review period the MOECC received correspondence objecting to the preferred recommended solution of the Tottenham transmission pipeline and requested that the MOECC require the Town to undertake an individual Environmental Assessment (EA) to revisit and further investigate the findings of the recommended transmission pipeline. This request is referred to as a Part II Order.

The MOECC advises that the request is being reviewed and have not yet provided their decision on the matter. As such, Town Staff cannot advance the engineering phase of the Tottenham transmission pipeline until the MOECC provides their ruling and ultimately approves the WMP.

In the meantime, the Public Works Department continues to make operational enhancements in accordance with provincial water quality standards until a new pipeline supply can be provided in order to improve the water quality.

In summary: The Town’s Water Supply, Distribution and Storage Master Plan (WMP) includes a plan to connect Tottenham to the Georgian Bay pipeline in order to meet the long-term Tottenham water supply needs and address the well water quality and reduce discolouration.

Challenges: Tottenham’s water is solely sourced from ground water wells and its natural make-up consists of high iron content and naturally occurring organics which is the primary reason for periodic discolouration. The WMP includes a plan to connect Tottenham to the pipeline.

The Alliston/Beeton transmission water supply to Tottenham is proposed to be blended with the existing Tottenham groundwater well water, and it is anticipated that the pipeline supply will service the community’s average daily demands, with the wells only being used to top-up the supply during maximum peak demands such as high-demand summer days. In this approach the blending of the two sources will significantly improve the overall water quality to the community.

During the public review period of the final WMP in 2016, the MOECC received correspondence objecting to the preferred recommended solution of the Tottenham transmission pipeline and requested that the MOECC require the Town to undertake an individual Environmental Assessment (EA) to revisit and further investigate the findings of the recommended transmission pipeline. This request is referred to as a Part II Order.

Solutions: While the Town awaits a decision from the MOECC with regards to the Part II order and the intended plan for Tottenham`s water, the Town continues to treat and closely monitor Tottenham’s water supply – ensuring it remains safe for use (in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act of Ontario) at all times and that there are no health implications.

Status: The Town of New Tecumseth is awaiting a response and decision from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) regarding the Part II Order. The Town cannot advance the engineering phase of the Tottenham transmission pipeline until the MOECC provides their ruling and ultimately approves the WMP.