City may charge business metered rate for treatment of wastewater from offshore industry
The City of Mount Pearl is considering an application for a treatment facility to process wastewater from the offshore oil industry — as long as it won’t cost the city to process it.
At Tuesday’s regular meeting, council discussed an application from Pardy’s Holdings for a trailer on Kyle Avenue.
“The proposed process involves treating wastewater, storing the treated water at the existing tank farm on site, testing the treated water and the controlled discharge of the water into the city’s sanitary storm sewer system,” said Coun. Andrew Ledwell, chairman of the city’s planning and development committee.
“The proposed treatment facility will not create any offensive odours. It does not require additional storage, and there will be no septic waste treated at the site, just wastewater, based on the proposal,” said Ledwell, noting the committee recommended approval.
Mayor Randy Simms noted there’s a metered cost for wastewater treatment at the Riverhead facility, where the treated water would be processed.
“There’s a cost to treating this water. Does that cost get borne by us, or do they pay to put this stuff through Riverhead like we pay to put stuff through Riverhead?” asked Simms. “We are paying outrageous amounts of money now to treat this water, to get it to a level where it can be discharged into the water. … This could be a thing that discharges a tremendous amount of flow into our system. Shouldn’t we have a way of protecting the taxpayers against having to pay out for that?”
Chief administrative officer Michele Peach said the city charges a combined $600 water and wastewater fee, and industrial and commercial customers pay a millage rate to cover, among other services, wastewater. “It’s not metered, it’s true, but there’s a fee for wastewater taken up in that fee,” said Peach, who agreed a metered rate is worth exploring.
Council approved the application with the condition wastewater outflow be metered, and that an appropriate rate be charged to Pardy’s.