Wastewater infrastructure in the Hastings-Lennox and Addington region is getting a substantial boost from the provincial government.
The Ontario Government is investing $1,698,792 million in three Hastings-Lennox and Addington communities to build, upgrade and rehabilitate storm and wastewater infrastructure to protect the Bay of Quinte and eastern Lake Ontario.
The City of Belleville, which is shared by H-L&A and the Bay of Quinte riding, is receiving $664,815, the Town of Greater Napanee is receiving $527,480, and Loyalist Township is receiving $506,497 to address the aging state of their storm and wastewater systems infrastructure to make them more efficient and reliable, according to a release from MPP Daryl Kramp’s office.
“This is very welcome news for these communities and demonstrates our government’s commitment to protecting Ontario’s Great Lakes, local waterways, and communities from pollution and toxic overflows,” said H-L&A MPP Daryl Kramp. “We’re a very water-centric riding, with three major rivers feeding into the Bay of Quinte, and many inland lakes that attract boaters, swimmers and year-round fishing — our government is committed to protecting them for current and future generations.”
According to the release, wastewater and stormwater from urban areas can add pollutants such as phosphorus to lakes and rivers, resulting in negative impacts on water quality and causing harmful algal blooms. In 2020, 597 tonnes of phosphorus were discharged into Lake Ontario by sewage treatment plants, with over 80 per cent of this discharge in the western part of Lake Ontario.
“We know that in many municipalities across Ontario, critical storm and wastewater infrastructure are under pressure,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Our government is investing $25 million to build the storm and wastewater infrastructure necessary to ensure cleaner water and tackle the pollution and toxic overflows facing communities across the province.”
In addition, the Ontario Government is investing $10 million to help 20 municipalities upgrade sewage monitoring and public reporting capacity, as well as launching a public consultation and releasing a draft guidance document to improve wastewater and stormwater management and water conservation in Ontario, according to the release.
The province is also seeking input on a proposed planning guide to help municipalities and other planning authorities with land use and infrastructure planning.