Residents - South St. Andrews Wastewater Project - Frequently Asked Questions
This page will be updated as the project proceeds and to provide responses to common questions from residents.

Why do we need a wastewater system in St. Andrews?
New provincial regulations came into force in 2009 to address longstanding health and environmental concerns within the Red River Corridor. The provincial regulations require the phasing out of septic fields, which have been the source of significant health and environmental concern, including surface water contamination and contamination of wells. The new wastewater system in South St. Andrews will ensure the safety of our water, air and soil both now and in the future.  

Is my property located in the project area?
The RM is currently focused on construction and subsequent servicing of properties in the Phase 1 project area. Phase 1 covers the area from the West St. Paul/St. Andrews boundary to Liss Road (including properties on both sides of Liss), and from the Red River to the railroad tracks (see map). The RM is committed to implementing sewer service at the lowest possible cost to homeowners and will establish project timelines for Phase 2 only once federal and provincial grant funding is secured.

I’m in Phase 1. When can I/when will I be required to connect to the new sewer?
Construction of collector piping along local roadways in the Phase 1 project area will begin this fall. It is expected that construction crews will be able to complete local work in some portions of Phase 1 before the end of 2016. The majority of local work will take place in spring and summer 2017, with all work in Phase 1 to be completed by end of summer. Under this timeline, interested property owners could connect as early as the summer of 2017, once required connection equipment has been installed on the homeowner’s side of the property line. Residents who do not wish to connect right away will not be required to do so. Homeowners in Phase 1 will have up to five years to connect to the new sewer service following construction completion.  

When will I be required to pay?
No payments of the per-lot fee collected by the RM are due until after sewer construction on your street is complete and “hook-up ready.” For homeowners who choose to pay the fee through annual installments on their property tax bill, the first payment will be collected in the tax cycle that follows completion of local construction. Homeowners who wish to pay the full fee in a lump sum will have a minimum 60 days to make payment once receiving notice that local construction has been completed. Other charges such as the one-time buy-in fee levied by the City of Winnipeg will be not be payable until the time of connection. Work and equipment required on the homeowner’s side of the property line is the responsibility of the homeowner. More information on project costs is available in the Costs for South St. Andrews families section.  

How are the costs levied on property owners determined?
The RM is committed to implementing permanent sewer service as fairly and affordably as possible. The per-lot fee charged by the RM represents the total project construction cost for the project area, less federal and provincial grant funding received, divided by the number of properties that will receive sewer service. Detailed cost information is available in the Costs for South St. Andrews families section. In an effort to make the cost structure as fair and straightforward as possible, fees will be calculated on a per-lot basis: all property owners will pay the same fee.  

What about undeveloped land/land that may be subdivided in the future?
The per-lot fee structure applies to undeveloped land. For example, if a parcel of land is subdivided into eight lots, the developer would be required to pay a per-lot fee for each of the eight lots that will be developed.  

I don’t live in the project area. Am I paying for the sewer project?
The South St. Andrews Wastewater Project is not funded through general RM revenues. Approximately half of the total project costs are being funded through federal and provincial grants, while monies from the Federal Gas Tax Fund were allocated toward the RM’s portion of the forcemain that runs through West St. Paul. The remaining municipal portion will not be paid from general RM revenues, but through a financing mechanism known as a Local Improvement District (LID), which levies fees only on those property owners who will benefit from the project. The LID funding model is in common use across Manitoba for RM projects that deliver a localized benefit.   

How will the Local Improvement Districts be established? 

A Local Improvement District, or LID, is established by the passing of a bylaw. The RM will hold a bylaw hearing, to which the public is invited to attend. The RM will give residents 21 days’ notice prior to the hearing. All residents in the project area will receive written notice of the bylaw hearing by mail, and the date and time will be posted in the Important updates section of this website when available. Questions about any aspect of the LID process are welcome at any time. You can find phone and email information on the Contact us page.

How much disruption will sewer-related construction cause?
The companies contracted to lay pipe along public roadways will use horizontal drilling wherever possible, which minimizes surface disruption. Similarly, many contractors qualified to carry out required work on the homeowner’s side of the property line use similar techniques to reduce disruption to landscaping and paved surfaces. Impacts will vary from property to property depending on the home’s setback from the property line, elevation, the presence of trees and fences, and other factors. As with any major project, the RM recommends that property owners receive several written estimates from prospective contractors. The RM will pre-qualify a list of contractors for homeowners’ convenience.  

I have a septic tank in good working order. Will it be compatible with the new sewer system?
In most cases, existing tanks can be connected to the new sewer system. See the On your property page for more information. If you currently have a septic field, it will be disconnected from your septic tank and left as is. The waste that was being discharged to your septic field will now be pumped to the treatment plant for processing.  

I have additional questions. Who should I contact?
The RM welcomes questions from citizens about any aspect of the South St. Andrews Wastewater Project. Phone and email information is available on the Contact us page. The RM will endeavour to respond to all questions in a timely manner.
 
St. Andrews South Sewer Cost Break Down Table

Cost Item
Amount
Description
Capital Cost Component
$7390
This is the charge for the capital portion of the system the RM is constructing. This is the main forcemain, lateral sewers down the streets, property stub lines, lift stations and odor control facilities. Payable to the RM. This amount can be financed over 20 years at approximately $618 per year and would be added to the resident’s tax bill.
See Note 1.
Utilities Buy in Charge
$2300
This is the charge to buy into the city system. It’s a one-time charge per property and is to account for the city infrastructure costs we will be using (sewers, treatment plant etc.). Payable to the City through the RM collecting the amount. It should be notes that the City has committed to hundreds of millions of dollars toward treatment plant expansions and a 25 year program for the separation of combined sewers which cost could approach 1 billion dollars. Wastewater will be treated in a class 4 wastewater treatment facility. The Utilities buy in charge provides us the ability to use these facilities with no capital investment.
Participation Fee
$225
This is an annual fee adjusted annually to account for administration of the City’s system. Payable to the City through the RM collecting the amount.
Wastewater Billings
Varies depending on City Rates
This is a quarterly charge based on City set wastewater rates. The estimate for a family of four based on average 2015 data was $572 for the year.
Maintenance Charge
Not determined
This is a quarterly charge by the RM to account for operation and maintenance of the system.  This has not been determined at this time, however it should be based on the costs (utilities, staffing, operating and future upgrades) for the system.
On Property Costs
Sewer Line Installation
$15 per foot
This is an estimate to directional drill the line from the tank to the property line.  This is variable and can change with each contractor and is also affected by the distance required to connect.  We have already been quoted from a local contractor at $12 per foot for a minimum of 150 feet job and further reduced rates for longer distances as in your situation.
Tank
Variable
This will depend on the integrity of the existing tank. There is no requirement for a specific material, both concrete and fiberglass are acceptable. This is regulated by the Provincial Government. We encourage residents to get several quotes and assess their tank’s integrity.
See Note 2
Pump
 
In most cases the existing pump should be adequate. If in need of replacement this cost could be $500.
See Note 3
Water Meter
$600
This is a one-time charge for a water meter that would be used to estimate wastewater generation rates for the billings.  The water metered will not include the outdoor consumption but would include all water going through the softener including the discharge as this is wastewater as currently defined in regulations.  The RM is in discussion with The Water Services Board to identify potential grants for this cost to the homeowner. The meter charge includes installation.
See note 4
Annual Pump Out of Solids
$130
This will still be required once per year. The RM is investigating ways to reduce the amount of solids retained in the tank.

Notes:
1.    The LIP included a worst case interest rate of 5.5%. We have lower rates currently being offered to the RM that will significantly reduce this cost.
2.    The RM is currently discussing having a program to provide some oversight in the inspection and installation of the line to the tank for quality assurance reasons and to assist the homeowner.
3.    Some residents suggest that a specialized pump is required to account for distance and elevation changes would be required. Our engineers have looked at this and state that in most cases pumps that exist today will be applicable for this system.
4.    There have been suggestions that a meter on the wastewater line at the property line would be better. Out engineers disagree and have stated this could be done but would be several orders of magnitude costlier. It would require a specialized pump, electricity and a chamber.
The idea of the RM financing the entire cost to the resident (Capital and On Property Costs) is not being presented at this time, however we plan to investigate opportunities as they arise and plan to negotiate and if successful, put in place favorable lending arrangements available to all our residents no matter what their age with the same financial institution we select to finance the 20 year capital debenture as part of the request for lending proposals from various lending financial institutions we intend to solicit proposals from. 
SEWER COST SCHEMATIC DRAWING
 
Please click on the following link to view the schematic drawing:
 
Typical Installation with Existing Wastewater Septic Tank with Estimated Costs