• Frequently Asked Questions

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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 & 2 project areas. 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). Phase 2 covers the area between Liss Road and Hamilton Court along PTH 9 between the river and railroad. The RM is committed to implementing sewer service at the lowest possible cost to homeowners.

I’m in Phase 1&2. 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&2 project areas is now complete. Some work at the lift stations & odour control is still required to finish the project. Residents can hook up as soon as system is functional, or if you do not wish to connect right away, you will have up to 5 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 has held a bylaw hearing, to which the public was invited to attend. The RM gave residents 21 days’ notice prior to the hearing. All residents in the project area received written notice of the bylaw hearing by mail, and the date and time it was posted in the Important updates section of this website. 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 Tank and System Requirements 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. The RM will endeavour to respond to all questions in a timely manner. Should you have further questions regarding this project, please contact our Project Manager, Randy Borsa at randy@rmofstandrews.com

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 $2500 One time charge by City of Winnipeg, and collected by the RM (Updated for 2019 Rates)
Participation Fee $253
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. (Updated for 2019 Rates)

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 2019 data was $160/quarter.

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 $10-12 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. 

 Tank (if required) 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 (if required)  
In most cases the existing pump should be adequate. If in need of replacement this cost could be $500.
See Note 3
Water Meter
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. 
Currently, the cost of the water meter and installation are included in the Capital Cost Component.

Annual Pump Out of Solids $150
This will still be required once per year.
The RM is investigating ways to reduce the amount of solids retained in the tank.

  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.

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.
Please click on the following link to view the schematic drawing:
If you sell your home within the five year period (from the day that the wastewater collection system was installed) and have not connected to the wastewater collection system, does the property have to be connected to the system before the sale of the property can clear Land Titles?  Who would be responsible for the connection fees?  Is it the current homeowner (the seller of the home) or the new owner (the purchaser of the home)?
All lots will need to identify the financing option when the sewer system is complete.  That being a lump sum or annual payments.  That annuity is registered on the Property Tax Roll # and the responsibility of the property owner.
If you choose to connect to the wastewater collection system and finance it on your property tax bill, what happens if you sell your home?  Does the financing of the wastewater collection system continue with the new property owner or is the current home owner expected to pay the outstanding balance prior to the property changing hands?
Assuming the property owner has chosen the annual payment plan, the sale of the property requires that annuity to stay on the Property Tax Roll # for the duration of the debenture.
Is the interest rate subject to change over the 20 year amortization period?
The interest rate is fixed over the amortization period.  We expect the rate to be less than 5.5% which was a worst case scenario for the development of the by-law.
Are the Municipal Board Orders from Phase 1 applicable to Phase 2?
No the Orders from Phase 1 are not applicable to Phase 2.  Phase 2 will have its own entire process and will also go before the Municipal Board for a final decision.
What will be the cost of purchasing and installing the water meter and is there a fee to read it or is it included in the estimated $2500 fee for the City?
The meter cost is included in the Capital Cost Component there is no additional charge to the property owner.  Reading the meter would be part of the sewer utility.  The $2500 buy in charge represents a unit's cost of the City's infrastructure.
What is the fee structure from the City of Winnipeg in terms of $/litre or cubic meters of effluent determined by the meter reading?
The City's fee structure can be found on their website:  http://myutilitybill.winnipeg.ca/UtilityPortal/#/rates
How will the costs of maintenance and repairs be covered on the sewer system during the time it is in service and are there estimated costs for these items at this time?
Operations and maintenance will be part of the Municipality's charge to be determined through the Public Utilities Board.  No estimates are available at this time.