Broken Water Pipe photo from H. Winkworth
"In the interest of keeping people informed, the municipality is sharing the minutes
of the meeting, held at the request of Harold Winkworth and Bill Fehr, between them,
municipal staff, and Eastwood Servicing Project engineering staff from AECOM," Lloyd
Perrin writes, "and the answers to the questions that were posed by Mr. Winkworth
and Mr. Fehr, who advised they are representing the residents and bringing their
"We would also reiterate that any questions or concerns can be directed to municipal
staff as well. Questions can be directed to the undersigned or Mr. Geoff Brooks,
Manager of Transportation and Drainage at 519-631-4860 ext. 247."
Meeting with AECOM (Engineering) and Lloyd Perrin Friday, September 20, 2013 1:00
Present for meeting Harold Winkworth, Bill Fehr, Peter McAllister, Lloyd Perrin,
Chandra Dougall The italicized questions are those presented to the municipality
by Mssrs. Fehr and Winkworth, prior to the meeting. The bullet points are the answers
1.) Process of tendering (Engineering).
- Council provides direction to Staff, and Staff prepares the Request for Proposals
- The Municipality conveys in the RFP what they need by providing the scope of the
project and the background information. For example, there are three Environmental
Assessments (EAs) that support this project.
- The Municipality uses a Two Envelope process, where one envelope contains the technical
proposals, and the other envelope contains the cost. The Municipality looks for
value for work, not necessarily the lowest bid.
- When these proposals are received, they are ranked, and the results are provided
to Council for further direction.
2.) Engineering roll and responsibilities surrounding this project.
- AECOM's roll/responsibility is the detailed design of the project. This includes
site inspection, site supervision, processing of payments or review of payments,
certification of works and recommendation of changes of scope/scope of project,
preparation of construction record drawings.
- AECOM is also responsible for contract administration - coordination of sub-consultants,
i.e. geotechnical, topographical.
3.) Would it be accurate to suggest that engineering does not direct the contractors
in terms of methods and procedures in the construction of the project?
- That is correct. We (AECOM) specifically do not do that. We are there to inspect
and see that it conforms to the contract obligation, and ensure that the end project
is what has been tendered for, and the quality of work required has been achieved.
AECOM does not direct a contractor how to do the work; they are only there to help
troubleshoot and inspect for quality assurance.
- From the Municipality's point of view, there is an emphasis on the end result specifications,
and quality assurance of the product. The methods for construction is up to the
4.) Who supplies engineering with directions/information in respect to design of
- Council provides Staff with direction, and Staff prepares the RFP. Proposals are
reviewed, ranked, and presented to Council for further direction.
- AECOM prepares the design based on Central Elgin standards, the Ontario Provincial
Standard specifications, and Ministry of Environment guidelines.
5.) In general, what advanced planning is required (i.e. environmental studies, surveys,
geotechnical engineering, route, standards, research, local bi-laws etc.)
- Yes, all of these are required in the pre-planning stages.
- The Environmental Assessment has to be followed, and three have been completed for
this East Side Development Area servicing project (digital copies provided to Mssrs.
Winkworth and Fehr). But all support the detailed design of the project.
6.) What type/style of pump is being installed at Dowler-Karn (Centrifugal, Pneumatic
etc.) and is it capable of handling future development? Expected life span?
- Submersible pumps, and the pumps being put in now are only for what is being serviced.
However, the pump station is sized for future growth. They are centrifugal pumps.
- No cost for the pump station is being charged back to the residents.
- Expected lifespan of the pumps are 20 years, plus or minus, depending on demand
7.) Who establishes sewage flow, hydraulics and calculations, and planning/design
of the system? Are there flow monitoring stations built into the system?
- As per Central Elgin standards, based on MOE guidelines for flow. AECOM designs
the systems, which includes, pump station, pump sizing, force main and collection
- Volume calculations can be based on land use, or set flow rate per person or hectare.
8.) Were there options in respect to route selection? If so, what were those options
and who makes the final decision?
- There were options with respect to the locations of the plumbing stations. The original
intent was to keep the collection system and forcemain in public road right-of-ways.
And that is to avoid further EAs.
- The decision to remove the trunk sewer and forcemain off the Talbot line right of
way was due to conflicts with the Elgin Primary Water Line, and the narrow road
- Please reference the 2012 Storm Water Management Class EA schedule B, Executive
Summary page V. Section 6, page 32, reiterates what is in the Executive Summary.
9.) Project Engineer on site during construction? Inspector? If there is an engineer
on site, does he/she provide consultation during the construction of the project?
- There is a full time inspector on site who is a certified technologist. They are
there as much as the contractor is.
- Beyond that, there is an engineer that is available for assistance, and there are
regularly scheduled bi-weekly meetings between the inspector, project engineer,
and municipal staff, and operations staff if required.
10.) Does AECOM have an understanding of primary purpose or need of the project?
(Commercial, residential or future development?)
- Yes. Understanding is based off the 2003 Dillon EA, which was for the future servicing
of industrial/commercial growth areas for both St. Thomas and Central Elgin. As
part of that there were health issues identified with leaking residential septic
- When this was all first started in 1998, the focus was on servicing industrial/commercial
lands. As the years progressed, focus has shifted to residential septic system issues.
There are failing septic systems along Centennial and within the the Eastwood Subdivision.
- Please reference Section 3 of the Sanitary EA, there is a full description of the
need and justification.
11.) What % sewer capacity is for present use and what % is for future requirements?
- 100% residential on Centennial, south of the Comfort Inn Hotel.
- North of the Comfort Inn, 30% is for existing residential and 70% is for future
industrial/commercial growth. Everything south is residential.
- The capacity allocation of the pumping station and forcemain 30% is for existing
residential and 70% is for future industrial/commercial growth . Cost for the pumping
station and forcemain is not being recovered from residents.
- All the infrastructure being installed with the exception of pumps has an intended
life of approximately 100 years.
12.) Future capacity designed to satisfy Industry requirements or housing development
- Both. Existing is residential, and there is the potential for infilling lots. The
remaining lands are designated industrial.
- The lands south of the comfort Inn and behind the houses on the east side of Centennial
is designated as agricultural and could not be justified based on current growth
rates from future development for approximately 40 years.
13.) Given it has gravity feed why the necessity to go east to Dowler Karn and pump
back? If requirements are to satisfy residential would it not be reasonable to locate
a pumping station at the north end of Centennial and pump back to Wellington Street?
- To accommodate future industrial growth, and it builds on the 2003 EA done by Dillon
Consulting for the piping to eventually continue to flow to the airport to a new
sewage treatment plant near the airport.
- The pump station is not specifically for residential; it services industrial and
commercial development as well. The pump station is central to the growth area.
For the pump station being located on Talbot Line, the idea was to pick up the industrial
lands, and to be able to continue easterly in the future with the existing collection
system, and put a new treatment plant out in the airport lands, without having to
scrap the trunk main being put in at this point.
14.) What amount of drop is required from Centennial to Dowler-Karn for the gravity
flow line. Does the return force main require any drop? (Entire loop equals 1.7
- The required amount is .3% - but because half way through there is two pipelines
and a drain that has to be crossed, the amount is 5.8 meters.
15.) What amount of slope is required for the gravity feed line on Centennial Ave
(From Elm to Talbot?)
- Generally for this pipe size, just under .3%, depending on pipe sizing and clearance
to other service. It is almost 8 meters in one spot, in the Lawton area.
16.) The cost to send sewage east and then pump back to Centennial Ave. seems counter-productive.
Did anyone do a cost comparison keeping in mind the cost of construction as well
as the cost to pump from Dowler-Karn?
- The reality is you would have pump no matter where it is. The pump station is is
necessary for residential properties as well given the new sewers can not flow into
the city collection system by gravity.
- The Official Plan lays out how land gets developed. Central Elgin's Official Plan
was just adopted and approved by the province. A municipality has to show where
it wants its development, and show that we have uptake for that. It is beneficial
for municipalities to have industrial areas, and they are taxed at a higher rate.
This does benefit property owners in Central Elgin.
17.) If the route takes us east then why would we not twin the lines since we have
to excavate for the gravity feed line anyway? Why the long route through fields
and areas not affected and not even requiring service.
- Answered earlier.
- The location of the pump station services future growth.
- From municipal standpoint, we want everything in one corridor.
18.) With the understanding that the route travels east, would it not have been beneficial
to run the gravity feed line closer to housing and businesses on Hwy #3 so that
they would be able to connect as well keeping in mind that this would generate added
revenue for the project.
- Constrained HWY 3 corridor and conflicts with other utilities already contained
with that utility corridor.
- Everyone will be treated the same. Fore Golfer's only will be paying a connection
19.) Single line or must be closed loop?
- The Pumping station is a wet well (a bucket) with a submersible pump that pumps
the sewage from the wet well into the forcemain which discharges into the city collection
system on Wellington St.
20.) Does it appear that this portion of the project will be completed by December?
- Possibly to Lawton, contractor is saying they are mid block. Regardless, it will
be restored to hard services, not left with gravel.
- Municipality does not want to rush to do this, it is 100 year infrastructure and
we will not compromise that. You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
- Contractor's intent is to start in the first week of October, weather permitting,
and start road restoration for the area between Talbot and Bodkin. This will be
approximately 3-4 weeks of work. Restoration of the remaining area of Centennial
that was disturbed will be restored starting mid November.
- People could possibly start hooking up in the spring. The pump station will be done
- No, there was a delay getting started so there will be no penalties provided the
contractor makes good effort in completing the project. The municipality and AECOM
are happy with the contractor's efforts and progress to date.
22.) Storm sewers - will old system be tied in with new or will they be kept separate
or will the old system become obsolete?
- Anything that is within the road that is being disturbed will be removed. The existing
storm sewers will be connected to the west and will be connected to the new storm
sewer along Centennial.
- Driveway culverts will be gone and there will be a catchbasin on the front of each
lawn as well as a storm connection for outletting sump pumps etc into.
- The intent is to try and do away as much as possible from a municipal drain system.
To get rid of it, and put in a properly designed sewer system.
23.) St. Thomas sewage plant (capabilities/capacity)
- Central Elgin has an agreement (2006) with St. Thomas to take sewage from this area
in their plant and this was identified in the Certificate of Approval application
that was approved by MOE.
24.) Lowering road? If so, to what degree?
- Up to .3 meters in some areas. Not all humps and bumps in the road will be removed.
The big ones may be lowered a foot, maybe up to 18 inches. This is mostly restricted
by the existing watermain.
25.) Fire upgrades?
- Watermain existing on Centennial is not being replaced. It already includes fire
hydrants. The phase 3 work will include the replacement of existing watermains where
- Centennial is all up to date, everything was updated in 1998.
26.) Reforestation - replacement of trees that have been removed?
- It is Central Elgin's policy that if a tree is removed, the Municipality will replace
that tree. If a landowner has had a tree removed, they will receive a tree to plant
on their private property.
Broken Pipe Leads to Boil Water Advisory
The morning after the meeting above, on Saturday morning of September 21, 2013 a
major watermain break occurred at the construction site on Centennial Avenue, necessitating
a boil water advisory for affected residents. The St. Thomas Times-Journal reported
that "the actual water break occurred on a 400 mm main on Centennial Ave. in Central
Elgin and disrupted the water supply from 7:30 this morning until approx. 9 a.m."
Mr. Winkworth reports that "the reason the pipe gave way is because it was undercut
by all the rain we received and suspended the pipe in midair (loaded with water)
until it eventually collapsed. They did know that the pipe was there. It was approximately
eight feet to the east of where they were working. Had it not rained so much they
probably would have been okay."
"The city delivered cases of water to the homes that were affected. They shut down
the water and isolated an area from my house (202 Centennial) going north to an
area just before Talbot Street. I am guessing approximately fifty homes were affected.
The paper stated that the city went without water for a couple of hours but failed
to say that we were without water for over thirteen hours. Everything is fine now
and everyone survived."