Manitoba is proposing amendments to its Onsite Wastewater Management Systems Regulation that are aimed at addressing concerns raised about the province’s phase-out of sewage ejectors, Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie announced last week.
“We have heard from Manitobans the province must take strong action to protect the environment and human health,” Blaikie said. “These amendments maintain those principles while responding to concerns raised by some homeowners as sewage ejectors are phased out.”
The current regulations prohibit the installation of new sewage ejectors and eliminate existing ejectors at the time of any property transfer. Under the proposed amendments, the restriction on the installation of new sewage ejectors would be maintained. However, the amendments would provide an opportunity for owners of sewage ejectors to retain an existing sewage ejector at the time of property transfer under a specific set of limited circumstances. To retain an ejector at the time of property transfer it must:
· not be located within an environmentally sensitive area;
· be located on a minimum of four hectares (10 acres); and
· meet all necessary regulatory requirements.
A person wishing to retain an existing sewage ejector would have to submit an application and have an inspection completed by Manitoba Conservation to confirm the above criteria are met. The amendments also propose housekeeping changes such as clarifying the definition of “transfer” and clarifying the responsibilities of vendors and purchasers of properties.
The province is developing a low-interest loan program for those who may be required to replace their sewage ejector systems for property transfer.
The proposed amendments will be open to public comment until April 30.