Safe, clean water is one of our most precious resources and the demand for it is constantly increasing. Conservation and protection from contamination are of prime importance in ensuring a continuing supply.
In the Town of Mono, all households and commercial and industrial developments are serviced by private septic systems. Proper treatment and disposal of domestic waste water plays a vital role in maintaining the health of our environment and this is the responsibility of each individual owner of property on a private septic system. Homeowners should be aware of their water using habits to ensure that septic systems are not overloaded. A system which is properly operated can function safely and effectively for many years, but a system which is overburdened or not properly maintained can be dangerous to health and may contaminate the surrounding natural environment.
We are providing below information on the safe use and care of the private septic system - important information which every householder should know. We are also suggesting simple and effective water conservation techniques which should help to preserve our water supply and at the same time contribute to the long-term, trouble free operation of your septic system. An added bonus could be lower water bills (for those on municipal water supply) and even a drop in electricity bills due to less hot water consumption.
Care and Maintenance of Private Septic Systems
Septic systems dispose of sewage and rely on the soil to absorb and disperse waste water. They are designed to keep effluent underground and to filter waste water before it reaches groundwater, streams or lakes. “Sewage” can include domestic waste water from toilets, showers and bath tubs and kitchen and laundry wastes.
An on-site private sewage system (“septic system”) has two basic parts: a septic tank which receives the untreated sewage and in which solids settle out, and a leaching bed (tile bed) through which the liquid waste portion of the sewage is dispersed into the soil. The main function of the septic tank is to allow solids to settle and to let clear effluent flow to the tile bed. Biological reactions within the tank will break down some solids to liquids and gases, but the retained solids will eventually accumulate in the tank. Only clear liquid waste should be discharged from the tank to the tile bed. This liquid waste will then undergo further biological break-down and treatment.
To ensure efficient operation of the entire system, it is important that the sludge, scum and solids which can accumulate in the tank do not enter the tile field. The septic tank should be inspected by a licensed professional at least once every two years and the tank pumped out when necessary - every three or four years is suggested. To find a licensed professional, check the Yellow Pages under “Septic Tanks - Cleaning”.
Important Information for the Private Sewage System User
Under no circumstances should a homeowner enter a septic tank. Noxious gases which are heavier than air remain in the tank after the cover is removed, and have caused death both to the original victim and to those who attempted to rescue a person from the tank. Entry into and inspection of a septic tank should be done only by a licensed professional.
Do not alter the grade over the tile bed after it has been installed and inspected. This may affect its biological operation and result in malfunctioning of the system.
The septic tank should be inspected at least every two years and pumped out when necessary - every 3-4 years or when the sludge in the tank is approaching the 1/3 full mark. If more than this amount of sludge builds up, there is a chance that particles can get into the disposal field and cause blockage and system failure.
Keep water usage to a minimum. The more water used, the more that must be handled by septic system drain fields. See tips on Wise Water Use.
Do not use the septic tank as a disposal system. Do not allow the following to enter the system: water softener backwash, paints, solvents, grease, coffee grounds, bones, cooking fats, filter cigarette butts, disposable diapers, paper towels, tissues, sanitary napkins, etc. White toilet paper is preferred as it breaks down faster and more completely than coloured. Organic based household cleaners are highly recommended. Moderate use of household drain solvents, cleaners, disinfectants, etc. should not interfere with the operation of the sewage disposal system; however, indiscriminate use may cause problems.
Do not allow roof drains, sump pump discharge or surface runoff to drain towards the area where the tile bed is located. Water ponding upon the tile bed and saturation of soil within the tile bed reduces the overall effectiveness of the system by reducing its ability to dispose of liquid wastes.
Vehicular traffic (including snowmobiles) should not be allowed over the tile bed as this may cause soil compaction and damage to the distribution pipe. In the winter, if snowmobile traffic is allowed to run over the tile bed, this can cause compaction of the snow and increase the depth of freezing, which has negative effects on the tile bed.
There should be no need to use “starters”, “bacterial feeds” or “cleaners” in the tank. None of the compounds presently available have been proven in independent studies to be of any long-term benefit in the operation of a sewage system.
The tile bed area should have an adequate cover of grass, good ventilation (sand or gravel) and adequate sunlight. It is important not to add excessive amounts of soil to the tile bed as this may prevent evapotranspiration. Objects such as patios, sundecks, swimming pools and tool sheds should not be located within 15 feet of the tile bed. Trees or shrubs should not be planted within 10 feet of this area and you should avoid planting shallow-rooting trees such as willows and cedars near the tank or tile bed.
Council Resolution: We will allocate the necessary resources to develop and implement a strategic energy management plan that will reduce our energy consumption and its related environmental impact.
We exercise stewardship in our use of finite energy resources to demonstrate leadership, optimize our delivery of services, and enhance the overall quality of life in our community.
We will incorporate energy efficiency into all areas of our activity including our organizational and human resources management procedures, procurement practices, financial management and investment decisions, and facility operations and maintenance.
To continuously improve the energy efficiency of our facilities and processes in order to reduce our operating costs, our energy consumption and the concomitant greenhouse gas emissions.
We will reduce our consumption of fuels and electricity in all municipal operations each year between now and 2020.
To implement energy audits on all municipal facilities during the next five years;
To convert all lighting in town facilities, parking lots and street lighting to LED.
We need reliable, low-cost, sustainable energy sources delivering energy to the most efficient facilities and energy-consuming technology feasible.
Internal stakeholders (Council, CAO, staff) need to be able to clearly communicate the corporate commitment to energy efficiency, and to develop the skills and knowledge required to implement energy management practices and measures. External stakeholders (the Province, community citizens and groups) need the municipality to be accountable for energy performance and to minimize the energy component of the costs of municipal services.
Municipal Energy Situation
Our assessment of organizational capacity for energy management with respect to energy policy; organizational structure; employee awareness, skills and knowledge; energy information management; communications; and investment practices indicates the following: The Town of Mono has pursued many measures to improve the energy efficiency of municipal equipment. Some of these measures include: Interior and exterior lighting upgrades at the town offices and Monora Park Pavilion Proposal to Council for conversion to LED street lighting Approved FIT project for solar photovoltaic applications at Town facilities. As the understanding of corporate energy consumption improves, staff will be equipped with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions. This improved understanding will also reveal how simple actions like commissioning and maintenance procedures can improve existing equipment efficiency.
How We Manage Energy Today
The management of energy consumption and the energy performance of our facilities and equipment are the responsibilities of: Finance (cost management), Works Department (maintenance), Department managers (operations), the CAO for leadership.
Summary of Current Energy Consumption, Cost and GHGs
Summaries of energy consumption and greenhouse gas may be found in appendices to this plan.
Trends in Energy Consumption
Our energy consumption decreased due to efficiency created by upgrading our buildings with spray foam insulation, high efficiency furnaces and LED lighting retrofits. This trend will continue with additional upgrades and retrofits.
Summary of Current Technical Practices
Our assessment of operations and maintenance practices, facility and equipment condition, and energy performance indicators establishes the following priorities:
Development of standard operating procedures incorporating energy efficiency optimization,
Enhancement of preventative maintenance procedures,
Continuation of our retrofit of lighting system in Mono Centre Community Centre in 2015
Implementation of the LED Street lighting conversion in 2014.
Renewable Energy Utilized or Planned
The Town of Mono aspires to show leadership in the promotion and development of renewable energy systems that are compatible with our asset management and land use planning objectives. As a result, we have applied for and received approval to develop a solar photovoltaic system on the rooftop of the municipal garage/shop building, subject to capacity of the adjoining street hydro system to take the resultant additional current. The town will consider possibilities for additional roof top installations on municipal buildings.
As an integral component of the management structure, the energy management plan is coordinated with the municipality's budget planning process, preventative maintenance plans, environmental management plan, and the overall asset management plan.
We will develop criteria for the design and/or acquisition of new buildings that include energy performance factors and that use as appropriate the principles embedded in performance standards such as LEED and the Model National Energy Code for Buildings.
We will carry out a comprehensive review of all business processes and modify them as necessary in order to incorporate energy efficiency considerations.
We will carry out the required development of business procedures and communication programs and implement them methodically according to the planned timelines within the resources constraints that apply.
We use department and facility energy team representatives to facilitate the implementation of facility level business procedures and communication initiatives, including energy performance reporting.
Overall Target: We will reduce our overall municipal energy consumption (from all facilities and streetlights) by 5% from 2014 (based on baseline data) to 2019. The baseline was determined by averaging the annual consumption in ekWh for 2011 and 2012 for all facilities reported under Regulation 397/11 plus streetlights as they are such a significant energy consumer.
Green House Gas Emission
Governments at all levels are moving to address emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), in light of scientific evidence on how human activities are affecting the world's climate. For more information on the science, see the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The combustion of fossil fuels in buildings is a major source of GHG emissions that fall under local government influence. Municipalities can lower emissions by improving energy efficiency of buildings and using more renewable energy. The Town of Mono is committed to both objectives through the development and implementation of this Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan (CDM). We will continue to track and report on GHGs as part of our regular reporting on energy consumption and will evaluate progress in this area against our overall reduction target.
Summary of Current Energy Consumption, Cost and GHGs: The current energy usage by building is detailed in Appendix A. Our energy usage is updated monthly in the Energy Planning Tool (EPT) and reported annually to the Ministry of Energy.
Energy Consumption: We will review and evaluate our energy plan, revising and updating it as necessary, on an annual basis as based on the Energy Consumption Reports that are submitted to the Ministry of Energy on an annual basis as required under Regulation 397/11.
The Mono Community Policing Committee is run by volunteers who live and/or work in the Town of Mono and meets bimonthly to allow for feedback from committee members, individual residents, and the OPP Community Policing Officer. The committee also operates the Neighbourhood Watch program.