Officials in Enniskillen and Petrolia are trying to figure out what it will take to provide water to a new greenhouse in Dawn-Euphemia.
Greenhill Produce from Chatham-Kent bought 100 acres at the corner of Oil Heritage Road and Edys Mill Line in 2016. It plans to build an $80 to $100 million operation to meet the growing demand for either peppers, tomatoes or cucumbers. It could employ between 150 to 300 people depending on what sort of crop is grown.
It could also double the demand for water in Dawn-Euphemia.
Dawn-Euphemia officials recently went to Enniskillen Township, which sells water to the municipality, to see if it would increase the flow to meet Greenhill’s demand.
Clerk-Administrator Duncan McTavish is working with engineers to figure just what could be done to get the greenhouse the water it will need in the future. “We have an obligation to provide water to Dawn-Euphemia and we’re modelling how we can do that to get that quantity and pressure to that location without having a negative effect on the rest of the distribution area,” he says.
And McTavish says Enniskillen will have to go to the Town of Petrolia, which supplies water to the municipality, and request an increase in the water it provides.
McTavish says they’re not sure how much more water they’ll need until after the engineer has completed the model of the system.
Petrolia’s Chief Administrative Officer, Manny Baron, confirms an official request hasn’t come to the town for more water yet. And he added it is not clear how much water Petrolia could supply to its partners to the south.
A 2014 report on the Bright’s Grove water system says the town has a permit to take over 15,000 cubic metres of water per day from Lake Huron and the treatment plant can process about 12,000 cubic metres per day.
That same report shows in 2014, the most water the town drew from the lake per day was about 7,800 cubic metres.
Baron says the town’s engineers are looking at how much extra water could go to Dawn-Euphemia.
The owners of Greenhill have said they hope to start construction this fall, but it is not clear if the water lines will be needed immediately.
However McTavish says once the plan is approved, water line construction would not take a large amount of time to complete.