Official Plan Review – Phase 2

The extremes of climate change will affect the operation of critical infrastructure such as water and wastewater treatment plants, sewers, the electrical grid, public transport and roads that are sensitive to temperature and weather thresholds.  Beyond these thresholds, infrastructure may have reduced capacity or may not function at all.

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Water & Wastewater Master Plan – VRS Comments

The importance of creating, maintaining and protecting natural infrastructure such as wetlands, swales and vegetated buffers cannot be overstated when it comes to flood management and filtering stormwater runoff. Policies supporting this concept would go a long way towards reducing some of the stormwater infiltration into the wastewater collection systems. 

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Water and Wastewater Master Plan – VRS Comments

Large volumes of untreated and undertreated wastewater are being released into our local creeks, rivers, and lakes when heavy rain events occur, and this will become increasingly problematic as the climate warms.  For example, on the 4th of April last spring, within 24 hours a Major primary bypass of 122,404 m3, or 122,404,000 litres, of raw sewage was released into the Vermilion River, and in February 65,169 m3, or 65,169,000 litres, was released. Read more

Press Release: Sudbury Takes Strong Action to Protect its Citizens


The VRS wishes to thank the City of Greater Sudbury, Jacques Barbeau, Michael Vagnini, and Sudbury Water/Wastewater staff for taking strong action to protect the health and safety of its citizens“, said Linda Heron, Chair of the VRS.

The City of Greater Sudbury has provided a Sewer Bypass Alert Notification, whereby you can register to receive email notification whenever there is a sewage bypass or wastewater overflow at any of their wastewater treatment facilities.

The Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS) lobbied for this real-time Alert to ensure those families relying on the receiving lakes and rivers for their household water and/or recreational activities are notified whenever a bypass occurs, and can take appropriate action.

You are encouraged to register here to receive Alerts when a sewage bypass or spill occurs.  All bypass events will be posted at this location for a period of 7 days after the bypass has ended. Monthly bypass and overflow reports are also available on the Stewardship page.

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Sewage Bypass Alert – City Council Motion



Jacques Barbeau championed this Motion at a City Council Meeting on the 4th of November 2014.  The Motion was passed unanimously, with slight amendments.   The City of Sudbury is demonstrating transparency and placing public health and safety first when it comes to sewage bypass events.  The City will adopt the model used by the City of Kingston, where city residents are notified of a sewage bypass event shortly after it occurs.   A big thank you to Jacques Barbeau and the City of Sudbury!! Read more

EBR Application for Review – Alternative Bypass Reporting Procedures – ORA to MOECC



There are numerous Waste Water Treatment Facilities (WWTF) across the province releasing treated, untreated and partially treated effluent into streams and rivers that run through large and small communities that also rely on river water for their public and private drinking water and general household uses. Increasing incidences of extreme rain events are making overflow and bypass of sewage a common and necessary strategy for many WWTF’s in Ontario. ORA understand that in the short-term this is done in order to avoid back-ups into their treatment facilities as well as individual residences; however, in the long-term there must be a province-wide strategy to avoid untreated and partially treated releases of sewage effluent into the environment.

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