By Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative
Some answers may finally be in store for downtown Bothwell’s long beleaguered septic system.
The issue is longstanding but flared up in 2017 when numerous cases of E. coli and even some pseudomonas were found in drains and creeks all over town. This led to the Ministry of the Environment ordering Chatham-Kent to develop a plan to make the water more sanitary.
The municipality hired AECOM to provide a report to the ministry. Now the government body is suggesting a survey be conducted of the downtown, which they’ve determined is the origin of most of the bacteria.
The survey will see where and what types of septic services are present on the various properties.
This information will determine whether a communal system, possibly a treatment plant, should be installed or whether the entire town needs a new community-wide sewer system. The latter option has not had much support in the past and is not recommended by the ministry because of the costs to residents outside the downtown.
Coun. Steve Pinsonneault said people have been telling him something needs to be done.
“I’ve had a few of the merchants in the downtown contact me here and they say they do need some sort of a system. They said their septic systems are overtaxed on that main street and there’s no real estate to expand their systems. They recognize that they have to do something down there,” he said.
The survey will investigate the septic systems on 40 properties downtown and another seven in the nearby industrial park.
“As everybody knows this has been a hot topic in Bothwell for several years. We’ll see what results come in and go from there,” said Pinsonneault.