Woodland Dr. residents answer water, sewer survey

Residents on Woodland Drive will receive the results of a water and sewer survey conducted by the city last month.

Residents on Woodland Drive will receive the results of a water and sewer survey conducted by the city last month.

On May 31, the city embarked on surveying Woodland Drive residents to examine water, sewer, and thresholds for future services.

The intent of the survey, city planner Liliana Dragowska said, was to obtain an understanding of the diversity of issues and share information with the entire neighbourhood.

“The ones that are coming to the table are the ones that are having issues and they’re not aware if other people may or may not have issues,” Dragowska said.

At Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting, Dragowska presented council with a report on the survey, noting the results were anonymous.

She said 43 property owners were contacted to complete the survey and, as of June 29, 36 surveys were completed and returned to the city.

When asked if they had experienced any water shortage issues on their property, of the 33 property owners who answered the question,19 said no and 14 said yes.

Of the 19 who answered no, four own vacant lots, two have relocated their wells, two mentioned they were careful with water usage and one person complained of water quality.

Of those who answered yes, eight indicated their well has dried up, four have holding tanks, four had deepened their well, two had relocated their well and three irrigated their lawns.

“The water issues are wide ranging on Woodland Drive, from one person indicating their well is overflowing to others indicating they have to truck water to their lots,” Dragowska noted in her report.

Of the 26 property owners who answered the survey questions about sewer, eight said they are using lagoons, while 18 have septic fields.

Thirty-two of 36 property owners, when asked irrespective of the cost what services they wanted, four said they wanted water only, one sewer only, and 27 were interested in both water and sewer. Four didn’t answer.

“We tried to get a feel of where people were having problems. Are they having water problems, are they having sewer problems, or are they having both?” general manager of planning and operations Geoff Goodall said.

The survey outlined the costs of bringing Woodland Drive into the city’s water and sewer system.

Based on 49 properties, the cost of the project would be around $3.5 million.

The survey report outlined various scenarios for paying for the project that range from borrowing the full amount and all taxpayers contributing approximately $67 a year, to achieving various levels of grants.

“As part of the survey and at the public meeting, property owners were made aware that funding from different levels of government was not available at this time. When asked if owners are willing to wait for federal or provincial funding, 31 of 36 property owners answered with 74 per cent in favour of waiting and 26 per cent not willing to take a chance and wait for funding to become available,” Dragowska reported.

She also noted there is not consistent direction from the property owners that they are interested in pursuing water and sewer services through a local service area.

“The split is close to 50-50 and there is a strong indication from the property owners that if moneys are not sourced from taxes (referendum), funding opportunities or other sources that there is little appetite for contributions to the systems as proposed in the TRUE Engineering Woodland Drive Servicing Preliminary Report.”

Coun. Geoff Bourdon told staff he appreciated the report.

“It gives us a much better insight,” he said.

The entire report is available on the city’s website.