Master Drainage Plan comes before Saugeen Shores Council

“Sometimes the best sources of information come from the people who’ve lived in an area for a good long time,” said Deputy Mayor Diane Huber, interim Chair of the Committee of the Whole meeting on February 12th. “I appreciate that you took that feed back and took it into account.”

She made the comment following a deputation by GM BluePlan Engineering Limited on the Master Drainage Plan for Saugeen Shores that was presented to Council.

Quite often, certain areas in the municipality experience some drainage-related issues as related by residents who live in the areas.

During the development of the Plan, an Environmental Assessment process was also completed and “… the consultation process included engagement with residents, indigenous community, community partners, and agencies.”

The Master Drainage Plan deputation accepted by Council for Information, set out the drainage issues that are occurring throughout Saugeen Shores in Southampton (North and South of the Saugeen River), Port Elgin and Saugeen Township. It also identifies specific projects that can be implemented with suggested timelines and cost estimates

“The Plan was begun in 2019 to better understand the drainage system within Saugeen Shores and the drainage infrastructure needed for development and growth. The drainage system is complex and is comprised of surface water drainage, which includes overland sheet flow, watercourses, municipal drains, tile drains, ditches, culverts, and storm sewers.”

Project implementations in the Plan were categorized according to high, medium or low priority.  Among those considered high requiring action within one to five years, were:

Southampton                                            Port Elgin
Louisa St.                                                  Concession 10
Adelaide St.                                               Hilly Lane
Island St.                                                  Market St. @ Linden Court
Bay St.                                                     Market St. @ Louis & Falconer St.
South of Bay St. (Huron St.)                       Baker Subdivision
Huron St.                                                  Port Elgin Main Beach Flooding

To view the issues at each location, visit:  Summary of Solutions and Prioritized Schedule of Recommended Project Implementation

Councillor Cheryl Grace asked if drainage construction would be done in combination with street reconstructions.¬† “Peel Street, for instance, is scheduled for reconstruction this year, so will the drainage improvement also be part of the project?”

The CAO responded saying that “The recommendations by GA Blue Plan would be received by staff and aligned with the Capital Plan where it makes sense to do the necessary improvements at the same time.”

Councillor Grace also referred to the Port Elgin Main Beach flooding and reviewing drainage issues as set out in the plan.¬† “I am wondering how much of this assessment is dependent on the future of the CCV build?”

The CAO responded saying that the process with CCV is moving forward but there is also a parallel process that the town is just “gently lagging on to look at the engineering and underground services related to Harbour Street and some of those areas around there.”¬† She again reiterated that recommendations from the study would be factored into the work being done on the project at the Main Beach.

Vice-deputy Mayor Mike Myatt pointed out that the residents on Huron Street (Southampton) often see significant flooding affected by Bay and Island Streets ‘run-off’ in the Spring and asked if the drainage improvements were “development related or a fix that needs to happen and will be put into our long-term Capital Plan? Will it be dependent on the development on the north side of Bay Street?

Amin explained the drainage aspects of the area and said that a comprehensive Environmental Assessment (EA) would be completed for Island and Bay Streets and Huron St. south, with the best possible solutions following public consultations with stakeholders, but did not address the ‘development related’ aspect of the question.

Councillor Rachel Stack questioned the theory behind storm water management ponds.¬† “I am from Ottawa and I had never seen these giant ponds for drainage before moving to Port Elgin. I am curious if that is a best practice as seems like a hazard (referring to Southampton Landing).”

Ruhul Amin, Manager of Engineering Services, explained that the pond at Southampton Landing had, in fact, been connected to a creek via an underground culvert that had been installed creating a “drainage network”.

Councillor Dave Myette asked if there had been considerable public feedback and if there were any surprises or lessons learned?

The GM BluePlan engineer said that “People know their properties better than we do and we did receive a great deal of input. We’ve had very enthusiastic responses as a result of our last public consultation.”

Master Drainage Plan and Final Waterfront Design Concept (2024)