Snow Storage Facility

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plowed path at Little Lake with the sun setting

The City of Peterborough is making improvements to our Snow Storage Facility located on Kennedy Road.

We have 958 lane km of road network, 400 km of sidewalks, 36 km of paved trails, and over 600 transit stops that require snow removal services. Numerous Council approved reports have re-affirmed the need for snow removal services over the past years:

  • November 10, 2008, Report USPW08-013, confirms the winter services policy and service standards which directs resources to remove snow from the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), curb-faced sidewalks, and transit stops;
  • July 28, 2014, Report USPW14-002, Council directs Staff to look at options to remove snow from bus stops and pay and display parking machines which would result in an increased level of service in these areas;
  • August 31, 2015, Report USPW15-012, Council approves a 3 year pilot program to add additional resources to remove snow from bus stops and sidewalks;
  • August 20, 2018, Report IPSPW18-009, Council approves the continued increased level of service as detailed in the 2015 report with respect to bus stops and sidewalks.

To continue to provide barrier-free and accessible transit stops, sidewalks, and an accessible downtown core, the need for a snow storage facility is extremely important.

Public Information Centre

We are looking for the public's feedback on this proposed improvement to our current Snow Storage Facility. All interested parties are invited to attend a Public Information Centre to be held:

  • Wednesday, September 21, 2022
  • 5 p.m to 7 p.m.
  • City Hall Foyer, 500 George St. N., Peterborough, Ontario

Three options to improve our current Snow Storage Facility were evaluated by the City of Peterborough and Cambium, including capital costs, general operation and maintenance costs, overall pros and cons, environmental impact, and community impact.

Based on the evaluation, the preferred snow management design involves stockpiling the snow on an asphalt melt pad area, with runoff contained within a Stormwater Management pond, and discharged to the Otonabee River.

The purpose of the Public Information Centre is to provide information to members of the public and other interested parties about the City of Peterborough Snow Storage Facility Class EA, which is being completed in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA).

Public participation is an integral component of this process, therefore, all parties having interest in the Class EA are encouraged to attend this event to provide comments, information, and ideas about the project. Following the engagement with the public, we will confirm the preferred alternative and will move into the detailed design component of the project, followed by the completion of a Schedule A/A+ Class EA application to the Ministry of Environment.

Further inquiries or responses can be made to the City's Consultant, Cambium Inc., attention Stephanie Reeder, P.Geo., C.E.T. by telephone at 705-872-8797.

The City of Peterborough is making improvements to our Snow Storage Facility located on Kennedy Road.

We have 958 lane km of road network, 400 km of sidewalks, 36 km of paved trails, and over 600 transit stops that require snow removal services. Numerous Council approved reports have re-affirmed the need for snow removal services over the past years:

  • November 10, 2008, Report USPW08-013, confirms the winter services policy and service standards which directs resources to remove snow from the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), curb-faced sidewalks, and transit stops;
  • July 28, 2014, Report USPW14-002, Council directs Staff to look at options to remove snow from bus stops and pay and display parking machines which would result in an increased level of service in these areas;
  • August 31, 2015, Report USPW15-012, Council approves a 3 year pilot program to add additional resources to remove snow from bus stops and sidewalks;
  • August 20, 2018, Report IPSPW18-009, Council approves the continued increased level of service as detailed in the 2015 report with respect to bus stops and sidewalks.

To continue to provide barrier-free and accessible transit stops, sidewalks, and an accessible downtown core, the need for a snow storage facility is extremely important.

Public Information Centre

We are looking for the public's feedback on this proposed improvement to our current Snow Storage Facility. All interested parties are invited to attend a Public Information Centre to be held:

  • Wednesday, September 21, 2022
  • 5 p.m to 7 p.m.
  • City Hall Foyer, 500 George St. N., Peterborough, Ontario

Three options to improve our current Snow Storage Facility were evaluated by the City of Peterborough and Cambium, including capital costs, general operation and maintenance costs, overall pros and cons, environmental impact, and community impact.

Based on the evaluation, the preferred snow management design involves stockpiling the snow on an asphalt melt pad area, with runoff contained within a Stormwater Management pond, and discharged to the Otonabee River.

The purpose of the Public Information Centre is to provide information to members of the public and other interested parties about the City of Peterborough Snow Storage Facility Class EA, which is being completed in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA).

Public participation is an integral component of this process, therefore, all parties having interest in the Class EA are encouraged to attend this event to provide comments, information, and ideas about the project. Following the engagement with the public, we will confirm the preferred alternative and will move into the detailed design component of the project, followed by the completion of a Schedule A/A+ Class EA application to the Ministry of Environment.

Further inquiries or responses can be made to the City's Consultant, Cambium Inc., attention Stephanie Reeder, P.Geo., C.E.T. by telephone at 705-872-8797.

  • Background Information

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    Cambium was retained in May 2017 to assist the City with the submission of an application for an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (Ministry), which was required for the existing culverts located at the Snow Storage Facility on Kennedy Road in Peterborough.

    The snow storage facility area is approximately 0.6 ha located within the larger property of the Peterborough WWTP (13.2 ha) located at 425 Kennedy Road, Peterborough, Ontario. The Site is owned and operated by the City of Peterborough and located approximately 1.2 km south‐southeast of downtown Peterborough. It is situated within the urban fringe area of the City of Peterborough and is surrounded by major roadways and residential development.

    The snow storage facility area is about 125 m southeast of the Otonabee River. The woodlot is situated adjacent to the west of the Site. To the north and east of the Site lies the WWTP, beyond which the land use is primarily residential. South of the Site is a small vegetated strip followed by Highway 7/115, running east to west.

    The woodlot is a small patch of mixed vegetation between the Site/WWTP and the shore of the Otonabee River. This wooded area is approximately 0.3 ha in area. According to the Ecological Land Classification System for Southern Ontario (ELC; Lee et. al, 1998), this wooded area is classified as a Fresh – Moist Ash Lowland Deciduous forest type, which is a terrestrial community.

    To redirect the on-site drainage from travelling overland through an adjacent woodlot (Kennedy Road Woodlot) where a number of dying trees were observed, the City completed grading (including berms and ditches) and installed three culverts in the vicinity of the Site to direct run off from the Site to the Otonabee River, along the southern property boundary of the Site. These drainage works were completed to restrict the flow of run-off from draining through the Kennedy Road woodlot via overland flow. The following was outlined by the Ministry inspector following a site visit to the snow storage area in April, 2017:

    “The Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA) defines sewage as drainage, stormwater, commercial wastes and industrial wastes and such other matter or substance as is specified by the regulations. The establishment of berms and culverts for the collection and transmission of the sewage is deemed to be a sewage works. Sewage works are defined as any works for the collection, transmission, treatment, and disposal of sewage or any part of such works.

    Section 53 of the OWRA states “Subject to section 47.3 of the Environmental Protection Act, no person shall use, operate, establish, alter, extend or replace new or existing sewage works except under and in accordance with an environmental compliance approval.”

    As noted in the Ministry correspondence to the City, given that the sewage works were established without the required approval in accordance with Section 53 of the OWRA, the City was required to submit a complete application, including the appropriate fees. The Ministry noted that the application was to propose methods to reduce contaminants present in the sewage and that there will be a requirement for effluent sampling.

    In response to the above correspondence, Cambium developed a scope of work in the form of an Action Plan that was submitted to the Ministry.

    As outlined in the Action Plan dated March 29, 2018, initially it was thought that the existing control structures (culverts, etc.) could continue to be used for quantity control of the melt waters, and additional engineered structures would be required for quality controls. As such, it was proposed to complete design calculations and culvert sizing determinations to ensure the existing structures were suitable. It became apparent early in the project that a more significant SWM system would be required. Initial discussions and assessments indicated that a SWM pond would be suitable to address both quality and quantity issues; however, the location of the pond was uncertain.

    Previous Work

    Cambium reviewed the following documentation, provided by the City and/or sourced from publicly available documents:

    • Soil sampling
    • Assessment of woodlot
    • Topographic surveys
    • Aerial photography
    • Annual surface water and soil sampling
    • Salt Management Plan
    • Forest Management Plan (in partnership with ORCA)
    • Several City Reports including Snow Disposal Site Selection Reports, Committee Reports, etc.

    Cambium and several City staff met on-site on September 26, 2017 to discuss this project with a number of City Councillors and concerned residents. During this meeting Cambium was able to gain a detailed understanding of the work and studies completed to date by the City in the adjacent woodlot (e.g., soil and water testing, Ash Borer studies and treatments, topographic surveys, etc.). Cambium also reviewed the grading and culvert work completed, with staff from the City Public Works department. Lastly, Cambium was provided background from residents, including a photographic history of the changing woodlot over time.

    Preliminary Alternatives Evaluation

    On-site measurements and preliminary design calculations were completed to determine the size of the stormwater pond that would be required. It was proposed that a pond be constructed on the lands adjacent to the woodlot and Site, currently owned by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO). The design work for this location was completed in February 2018; however, following discussions with representatives from the MTO, the City, and Cambium on April 19, 2018, it was clear that the MTO would not allow the City to either lease or purchase the lands required for the pond. As such, the City and Cambium were left with the assessment of the options of the construction of a SWM pond on City owned lands, west of the snow storage area, or the use of a permanent snowmelter at the snow storage site with redirection of the melt water through the WWTP. The use of an impermanent snowmelter located within the City core, with discharge of the melt water to the City storm sewer infrastructure, was later added as an option.

  • Proposed Improvements

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    Three options were evaluated, including capital costs, general operation and maintenance costs, overall pros and cons, environmental impact, and community impact.

    The preferred snow management design involves stockpiling the snow in an asphalt melt pad area, with runoff contained within a Stormwater Management (SWM) Pond, and discharged to the Otonabee River.

    The SWM pond would be lined with a geomembrane, with controls for overflow and runoff; thus greatly limiting any surface, soil, or groundwater impact from the storage of the snow. When the SWM pond level reaches the elevation of the outlet, the overflow will discharge to a new drainage swale through dead vegetation that directs flow overland to the Otonabee River. The SWM controls, in addition to the Managed Forest Plan, will prevent negative impacts to the adjacent woodlot and downstream receivers.

    With regard to the clearing of a portion of the woodlot, ORCA and the MNRF would be consulted, and an EIS would be completed, prior to any disturbance of the natural area, to ensure the minimizing of environmental impacts and compliance with all regulatory requirements.

    The environmental downside to this approach is the trucking required to bring all snow cleared from the City to one location, at the WWTP. The trucking would be the same as the permanent snowmelter option, but greater impact than the impermanent snowmelters. However, the numerous negatives associated with the impermanent snowmelters greatly outweigh the higher trucking operation.

    As the melting of the stored snow pile is proposed to be passive, rather than active melt using a snowmelter, the environmental impact is lessened by not consuming significant quantities of diesel fuel to melt the snow. Further, as the snowmelt water will not be discharged to the WWTP, energy and resources will not be consumed in treating the snowmelt water.

    It was noted that regardless of which scenario is moved forward with, the salt in the melt water would ultimately outlet to the Otonabee River, so the assessment only affects the path taken. The suggested option provides the slowest release of the salt content, therefore the greatest opportunity for assimilation within the river.

  • Consultation

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    Initial design work was presented to the Ministry and ORCA for consultation. Comments were received in late 2019 indicating general concurrence and provided guidance for required work to be move forward. Since that time, the following has occurred as suggested by the Ministry, ORCA, or identified as an issue of concern through Indigenous engagement:

    • Engagement activities with Indigenous Communities
    • Rationale for Schedule Determination for Class EA
    • Archaeological Study
    • Natural Heritage Study
    • Salt Management Plan

    Indigenous Community Engagement

    Indigenous community engagement was initiated in 2020 and has been on-going since that time. Cambium Indigenous Professional Services was retained to assist with facilitating the engagement. Five engagement sessions have been held to date.

    The Indigenous communities that were initially contacted were Curve Lake, Hiawatha, Alderville, and Mississaugas of Scugog Island. Curve Lake and Hiawatha participated with the on-going engagement.

    Engagement sessions have been used to present information and receive feedback on issues of concern. The sessions have also been used for the Indigenous community members to provide insight and Traditional Knowledge, such that an Indigenous lens could be applied to the project.

    Rational for Schedule Determination for MCEA Class EA

    The City determined the project is a Schedule A/A+ undertaking according to the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process and therefore could proceed to implementation. However, the City decided to pursue additional indigenous and local community engagement which will occur through to the end of 2022.

    Archaeological Study

    The study area contained evidence of archaeological potential. The location of the study area within 300 m of the Otonabee River and within 300 m of a registered Pre-Contact Indigenous archaeological site indicates potential for locating Pre-Contact Indigenous archaeological material. A Stage 2 archaeological assessment was determined to be required in order to identify and document any archaeological material that may be present.

    Based on the results of the Stage 1 background investigation and the subsequent Stage 2 test pit survey, the study area is considered to be free of archaeological material. Therefore, no additional archaeological assessments are recommended.

    Natural Heritage Study

    The proposed stormwater management facility is located adjacent to the Otonabee River, which forms part of the Trent-Severn Waterway and is under the management of Parks Canada Agency. As such, an Aquatic Habitat Assessment (AHA) was completed in 2020 to document existing aquatic habitat conditions in the Study Area, provide an assessment of potential impacts, identify permitting and approval requirements, and recommend suitable avoidance and mitigation recommendations and best practices. As part of this exercise, a Vegetation Inventory and Community Classification was also completed.

    A background review and field investigations were conducted. The nearshore area of the Otonabee River fronting the Study Area provides moderate quality habitat for fish. Under high water conditions in the spring, the dense ground cover in the riparian swamp community likely also provides highly valuable spawning habitat for Esocids. As such, the portion of the Study Area below the high water mark (i.e., within the floodplain) should also be considered direct habitat for fish. The current proposed undertaking includes the construction of a hardened outlet swale within the Otonabee River floodplain, which would result in the loss of direct fish habitat. As such, alternative locations or configurations for this built feature should be considered. As a result of these studies, the outlet originally considered in preliminary design work was realigned and adjusted as recommended.

    Several mitigation measures were recommended which should be implemented as part of the detailed design, as well as during and post construction.

    Through Indigenous Engagement, additional aquatic and vegetation work was recommended and completed including a four-season vegetation assessment through 2021/2022 and a Walleye Spawning Survey in 2022. This work built on the previous work completed.

    Salt Management Plan

    In 2001, Environment Canada released an assessment report stating that road salts are entering the environment in large amounts and are posing a risk to plants, animals, birds, fish, lake and stream ecosystems and groundwater. Environment Canada determined that a strategy was required to manage the release of road salt into the environment.

    The City developed a Salt Management Plan in accordance with Environment Canada’s Code of Practice for the Environmental Management of Road Salts. The purpose of this document was to set out a framework for ensuring the City continuously improves the management of road salt use with its winter maintenance operations.

    With the need to develop and implement the City’s Salt Management Plan, the trial of new materials, equipment, and technologies has provided positive steps towards reducing the City’s salt usage, while maintaining the same level of service the public has come to expect.

Page last updated: 21 Sep 2022, 08:50 AM