The proponent for the proposed hydro-electric generating station at the Bala falls is required to treat and test the water they would need to pump from their proposed excavation. Their requirements for this are specified in the Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA), which the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change issued to them on October 20, 2017. You can view a copy of this ECA here.
The proponent’s ECA specified that they are to use settling tanks, followed by a: “Proprietary Wastewater Treatment Plant”. Perhaps as a result of our publicizing that their proposed settling tanks were contaminated with insecticides, the proponent abandoned their settling tanks, and their entire water treatment system is as shown in the photograph below (click on it for a larger view). This is all at the north end of the Precambrian Shield parking lot, which is land actually owned by the Ministry of Natural Resources, but since 1970 the Township of Muskoka Lakes has a License of Occupation to use this land as a parking lot. In July 2016 the Township leased this land (along with the Township’s Portage Landing and south half of the Don’s Bakery parking lot) to the proponent to facilitate the proposed construction.
In the photograph above, the pipe bringing the pumped water from the proponent’s excavation is the black pipe at the upper right (on top of the proponent’s abandoned gray shipping container). This black pipe is then (behind the taller blue tanks) split into three hoses, each feeding into the back of one of these taller blue tanks. These taller tanks are lamella clarifiers, which have a series of angled plates to cause particulate matter (sand, silt …) to settle to the bottom of the tank.
The output hoses (at the left of each of the taller tanks) are then combined into one pipe, which (after this photograph was taken) has been connected to the large blue rectangular tank on the right. This tank apparently has some filter material in it, and the water is discharged from the back of this blue tank, directly into the Bala south channel, through the pipe shown below.
That is how it is supposed to work, our next article shows that is actually happening.