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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Protect Your Lake – Protect Your Investment – Septic System Handbook – Courtesy of Fairbank Lake Camp Owner’s Association


Greater Sudbury is the “City of Lakes” and many people living on waterfront properties are dedicated to protecting the water quality around their homes. Recently, several lakes in the Sudbury area have developed blue/green algae blooms affecting drinking water and closing beaches.

Some of the causes of algae blooms are faulty septic systems, storm water run-off and increased levels of phosphorus and nitrogen.

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Sudbury Water and Wastewater Master Plan – Class EA

The City of Greater Sudbury is undertaking a Water and Wastewater Master Plan under a Class Environmental Assessment.

Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS) would like to congratulate the City of Greater Sudbury for taking a big-picture perspective to its current water and wastewater treatment challenges. The City’s water and wastewater infrastructure is spread out widely to accommodate the individual municipal operations; however, with the amalgamation of all the smaller municipalities into the City of Greater Sudbury, it makes sense to consider the best overall plan for the entire City. This is a great opportunity to consolidate, bring efficiencies, and to plan for a new high level sewage treatment plant/s with much improved environmental protection and sustainable water management services.

VRS is very supportive of the master plan approach and looks forward to fully participating in the Class EA and master plan process. Read more