We’re updating our plan for how we manage wastewater in Guelph

Notice of study completion: City of Guelph Schedule C Municipal Class Environmental Assessment for the Wastewater Treatment and Biosolids Management Master Plan

In 2020, the City of Guelph (the City) initiated an update to its Wastewater Treatment and Biosolids Management Master Plan (the Master Plan) to ensure the city’s wastewater (everything flushed down your sinks, drains, and toilets) is managed in a way that is sustainable, protects our water ways and environment, and has capacity to handle Guelph’s growing population.

The Master Plan is a long-term plan that looks at how the City is currently managing and treating wastewater at the Water Resource Recovery Center (WRRC) and guides how we will continue to meet the demands of our growing community from now to 2051.

This Class Environmental Assessment (EA) considered:

  • Advances in treatment technologies;
  • Changes in infrastructure needs and legislation;
  • Sustainable and cost-efficient wastewater treatment concepts that mitigate climate change and contribute to reaching the City’s goal of using 100 per cent renewable energy sources by 2050;
  • Guelph’s growing population and it’s impact on the wastewater treatment process and the Speed River’s capacity, and;
  • How it will contribute to achieving the strategic priorities set out through the City’s Strategic Plan.

This Master Plan identified the following recommendations so the WRRC can meet the anticipated future growth to 2051.

Phase 1: Capacity expansion from 64 ML/day to 72.5 ML/day

  • Grit removal upgrades
  • Plant 2 secondary clarifier expansion
  • Tertiary filter upgrades
  • UV disinfection upgrades
  • Primary sludge thickening and dewatering upgrades

Phase 2: Capacity expansion from 72.5 ML/day to 79.2 ML/day

    • Screening upgrades
    • New Plant 5

The process

The Master Plan will be carried out according to the Municipal Engineers Association Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (2011, as amended in 2015) as a Schedule C Municipal Class EA, which is an approved Class of Environmental Assessment under the Environmental Assessment Act. Results from this Class EA were documented in an environmental assessment and are available as an Environmental Study Report for public review.

What we’ve heard

Engagement with Treaty Right Holders, the community, regulatory agencies, and community groups was an important component of this study. Many opportunities for engagement were provided throughout the project.

We heard that how we manage wastewater affects you. It also affects the Speed River and our environment. Your feedback was and is an important part of the Class Environmental Assessment process.

What’s next

The full draft Wastewater Treatment and Biosolids Management Master Plan Update Environmental Study Report has been completed and is now available for public review for 30 days in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Process. This period began on January 26, 2023. Please provide comments by February 24, 2023 (within 30 days of the Notice of Completion issue).

View the report and appendices.

Please submit your comments and questions to the project team members listed below.

Who is listening

Tim Robertson
Division Manager, Wastewater Services
Environmental Services
519-822-1260 extension 2264
[email protected]

Jillian Schmitter, Project Manager
Jacobs Engineering Group
[email protected]

In addition, a request may be made to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for an order requiring a higher level of study (i.e. requiring an individual/comprehensive EA approval before being able to proceed), or that conditions imposed (e.g. require further studies), only on the grounds that the requested order may prevent, mitigate or remedy adverse impacts on constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights. Requests on other grounds will not be considered. Requests should include the requester contact information and full name.

Requests should specify what kind of order is being requested (request for conditions or a request for an individual/comprehensive EA), how an order may prevent, mitigate or remedy potential adverse impacts on Aboriginal and treaty rights, and any information in support of the statements in the request. This will see that the ministry is able to efficiently begin reviewing the request.

The request should be sent in writing or by email to:

Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks
777 Bay Street, 5th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 2J3
[email protected]


Director, Environmental Assessment Branch
Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks
135 St. Clair Ave. W, 1st Floor
Toronto ON, M4V 1P5
[email protected]

Requests should also be copied to the City of Guelph by mail or by e-mail. Please visit the Ministry’s website for more information on requests for orders under section 16 of the Environmental Assessment Act.

All personal information included in a submission, such as name, address, telephone number, and property location, is collected, maintained, and disclosed by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for the purpose of transparency and consultation. The information is collected under the authority of the Environmental Assessment Act or is collected and maintained for the purpose of creating a record that is available to the general public as described in Section 37 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Personal information you submit will become part of a public record that is available to the general public unless you request that your personal information remain confidential. For more information, please contact the Project Officer or the Ministry of the Environment’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Coordinator.

This notice was first issued on January 26, 2023.