Lacombe County could be on the hook for providing a place to dispose of waste from residential septic systems.
Commissioner Terry Hager said that Alberta Environment seems to be of the opinion that it is up to the municipality to provide a dumping station. However, exactly what the province’s expectations are remains unclear.
“In my mind, it’s a little bit of a moving target,” Hager said on Thursday.
The issue came to a head recently when local septic hauling companies expressed concern that the province was banning the dumping of residential wastewater on farm land at the end of the month.
Several hauling firms appealed to the county to help them get temporary access to dumping stations in several communities, including Sylvan Lake, Rimbey, Bentley and Lacombe, rather than face costly drives to Red Deer, which would drive up fees charged to homeowners.
Three hauling companies told council in a joint letter that a dumping site was needed in Morningside and on both sides of Gull Lake.
The province appears to be taking the position that it is up to municipalities to provide a dumping site. Lacombe County has no sites, other than one the county inherited when it took over Mirror a few years ago, said Hager.
The county is working with the Sylvan Lake Waste Water Commission to see if it can accept the additional waste. Clarification will also be sought from the province on what it expects from municipalities.
Haulers were given temporary permission to continue dumping on fields during the warmer months. But the practice will be prohibited in winter.
“So this issue will be coming up fairly quickly,” said Hager.