If you have questions about contractors, water meter installation or specific work required on your property, please contact the RM office.
About this project
This new system will transport wastewater from about 1,800 properties in South St. Andrews to the North End Pollution Control Centre in Winnipeg. This will greatly reduce how frequently holding tanks must be pumped out and will assist the transition away from septic fields in this environmentally sensitive area.
Construction is now nearing completion, and we expect the system to be ready for use before the end of 2020. However, we first need to cross a few important hurdles, including rate-setting. The project has experienced some delays, and COVID-19 has now compounded these problems. We're also dealing with some factors not totally within the RM's control, including the finalization of service agreements with other municipalities.
We are committed to keeping you posted and seeking your input as we move through the next important steps. For more information, please contact the RM office. We will update the FAQ's at the end of this page in response to your inquiries.
How the system will work
Using a low pressure sewer system, wastewater will be moved from properties in South St. Andrews to a forcemain and shared regional gravity sewer line running to the North End Water Pollution Control Centre in Winnipeg. St. Andrews will enter into formal agreements with the RM of West St. Paul and the City of Winnipeg to share services. We are also entering into an agreement with the City of Selkirk to operate our system during the first years of use as our staff gain experience.
Phase 1 and Phase 2 construction is now nearing completion, and we expect the system to be ready for use before the end of 2020.
Costs to homeowners
Users of the service will be responsible for three different costs:
1. Your share of the public infrastructure cost
Every property in the service area will pay an equal portion of the RM’s capital cost to build the public infrastructure and extend it to everyone’s property lines. This fee will be due when the system is ready for operation, regardless of whether a homeowner is hooking up immediately or waiting longer.
The cost has already been approved by the Municipal Board so we know it will be roughly $7,400 per household.
If you wish, you can add this fee to your property taxes for payment over a 20-year term. You will receive more information in a notice that will be mailed out later in 2020.
2. The cost of work on your property and the one-time connection fee
When you are getting ready to connect to the system, you will be responsible for these costs:
- Any equipment and work needed on your property, including installation, maintenance and required upgrades, and
- A one-time connection fee to the City of Winnipeg.
Based on information from contractors and installations to date, these costs usually total between $8,000 and $10,000 per household which includes the City of Winnipeg fee. However, costs can be higher because of challenges such as failing tanks, pumps or underground services that make pushing the pipe to the home more complex. Also, the one-time connection fee will go up over time.
Later this summer, the RM will provide more information on how to self-assess your property’s requirements.
3. Your share of the cost to operate the system
Once your household is hooked up, you will receive a quarterly bill for your use of the system. The bill will include a basic participation fee plus a charge for the number of cubic meters your household has used during the quarter.
The $/cubic meter rate will be approved by the Public Utilities Board, based on a rate-setting model.
As decisions about rates are made, the RM will be seeking feedback from the community. We will also ask for input on options to make the transition to the system fair and affordable for all households.
Frequently Asked Questions
The system will assist South St. Andrews residents as they make the transition from septic fields to more environmentally friendly ways of managing household waste. As aging septic fields fail, they increase the risk of leaching, odour, backup and exposure to harmful substances. Land near the Red River is also environmentally sensitive, which has prompted the provincial government to prohibit new and replacement septic fields in the Red River Corridor designated area.
This means all homes in the designated area will eventually have to replace septic fields with holding tanks, which will need frequent costly pump-outs. By providing a convenient system to carry the wastewater portion of sewage away, we can greatly reduce the frequency with which holding tanks will need to be emptied. In this way, we can help residents do their part to protect the well-being of our natural environment for future generations and improve home resale values.
We expect the system to be ready for operation by the end of 2020. However, timing will depend on when service agreements are formalized with other municipalities, and whether we experience further delays. In addition to setbacks earlier in the project, we have experienced delays in receiving equipment and interruptions in work schedules because of COVID-19.
The deadline is set by the provincial government. Under provincial regulations, residents in the service area are mandated to connect within five years of the system beginning operation.
If the property is sold after the wastewater system is up and running, and before the home has been connected, the new owner has two years to hook up to the system following transfer of the title.
Some homeowners may want to use the system as soon as possible because of problems with their septic fields or to reduce the cost of pumping out existing holding tanks. Others may wish to have certainty about the work and costs ahead so they can do some forward planning.
The rate won’t be determined until after the public consultation and Public Utilities Board rate approval process. In West St Paul, the average household pays $196 a quarter. We know rates will be higher in St. Andrews because lots are larger and we have more distance to cover. The cost per household could also be higher during the early years of operation, when fewer people are using the system.