first_img Residents of Grand Etang and St. Joseph du Moine, Inverness Co.,are starting to see results from a pilot project that improvesthe local environment by better managing wastewater. The project is promoting the creation of a wastewater managementdistrict (WMD) for the area. A WMD uses a community-basedapproach to managing sewage and septic systems. It involves thecommunity in establishing standards and ensuring adequatemaintenance of septic systems. A WMD may also be eligible forinfrastructure cost-sharing arrangements. Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash says the pilotproject shows that affordable solutions are possible. “Whenever acommunity takes on part of the responsibility, it’s easier toachieve stable, long-term environmental improvements,” he said. In the first phase of the pilot project, two Nova Scotia YouthConservation Corps members and an engineering student surveyedthe location and condition of all on-site septic disposal systemsin the communities. Residents were offered a discounted price tohave their systems pumped; 124 homeowners took advantage of theincentive. Problems with domestic septic systems often lead to otherconsequences, like contaminated wells. “That’s too high a priceto pay,” said Mr. Morash, “especially considering that almost allof the problems are caused by improper maintenance.” The pilot project also evaluated the use of new technology fordisposing of materials pumped from domestic septic systems. About 318,000 litres (70,000 gallons) of material were processedthrough a de-watering system. The remainder went to a localsewage treatment plant where it is being turned into compost.Previously, the material was trucked for two hours to a disposallagoon. “This project is a great support to the people of InvernessCounty who are dedicated to improving their environment,” saidHealth Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald. “Our joint effortswill bring many benefits to this county and ultimately, a cleanerenvironment and healthier community.” The Department of Environment and Labour committed $20,000 tothis phase of the pilot project. The Municipality of the Countyof Inverness is matching the provincial contribution. The nextphase of the project will involve engineering studies toinvestigate options for ongoing management of wastewater. ENVIRONMENT/LABOUR–Wastewater Project Making Life Better inGrand Etanglast_img

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