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Canada's Core Public Infrastructure Survey: Wastewater and Solid Waste Assets

Canada's Core Public Infrastructure Survey: Wastewater and Solid Waste Assets

Statistics Canada, in partnership with Infrastructure Canada, has launched a catalogue of the state of the nation's infrastructure to provide statistical information on the stock, condition, performance, and asset management strategies of Canada's core public infrastructure assets. This fourth release presents findings on wastewater and solid waste assets.

Key Findings:

Municipalities own over four-fifths of every type of wastewater asset

  • Municipalities owned over 80% of all types of non-linear and linear wastewater assets in 2016.
  • Of municipally-owned assets, urban municipalities owned the majority of wastewater pump stations (70.6%) and wastewater lift stations (54.1%), while they accounted for smaller shares of wastewater treatment plants (45.9%), wastewater storage tanks (34.9%), and lagoon systems (29.1%).
  • Urban municipalities also owned more than four-fifths of almost every type of municipally-owned sewer pipe, as well as over two-thirds (68.8%) of municipally-owned sanitary forcemains.

Over half of all wastewater assets built before 1999

  • 57.2% of wastewater storage tanks, 62.3% of wastewater treatment plants, and 63.2% of wastewater lift stations have been built pre-1999.
  • For most types of sewer pipes, more than three-quarters of their length was installed before 1999
  • On average less than 15% of each asset type was reported to be in poor or very poor condition, with Alberta reporting the highest percentage of wastewater treatment plants in poor condition (21.5%) and Ontario reporting the highest percentage of wastewater pump stations in poor condition (13.7%).

Municipalities own over three-quarters of each type of solid waste asset

  • Municipalities owned three-quarters or more of every type of solid waste asset, with the exception of incinerators (15.4%) and energy from waste facilities (21.4%).
  • Rural municipalities owned the majority of most types of municipally-owned solid waste assets, except for closed sites and incinerators, where about half of each were owned by urban municipalities, and energy from waste facilities, which were all owned by urban municipalities.

Most of every type of publicly-owned solid waste asset in good or very good physical condition

  • Less than 13% of solid waste assets—whatever the type—were reported to be in poor or very poor physical condition.
  • Over four-fifths of closed sites (82.9%) and active dump sites (81.2%), and 64.9% of active engineered landfills were built prior to 2000.

Over three-fifths of wastewater and solid waste asset owners do not have an asset management plan

  • Only 38.3% of municipalities reported having an asset management plan for wastewater assets, almost half of which reported having a plan to implement one within the next four years.
  • By contrast, only 25.2% of municipalities reported having an asset management plan for solid waste assets. Approximately one-third of municipalities without a solid waste asset management plan indicated they had plans to implement one within the next four years. 

Consistent with the key findings of the survey, most provincial jurisdictions have outlined requirements for municipalities to implement an asset management plan in order to receive federal gas tax funding.  A typical asset management plan includes a comprehensive state of the infrastructure report, a level of service section, an asset management strategy, and a financial strategy to bridge the infrastructure deficit over the medium and long-term. Contact us here to learn how PSD can assist with the development and implementation of an effective asset management plan and ensure that your municipality can meet provincial requirements to receive funding.

The full release from Statistics Canada can be found here.