The Municipality of Bluewater is located in the central portion of Huron County, abutting Lake Huron along its western boundary. The former Village of Bayfield is situated in the northwest corner of the Municipality and is one of the fastest growing urban centres in the county, due largely to its location on Lake Huron and the presence of a well-established downtown commercial shopping district that boasts a number of high-end restaurants, hotels and gift shops.
The Municipality of Bluewater retained the services of BMROSS to undertake a Stormwater Servicing Master Plan for the community of Bayfield in order to establish 1) priorities for the installation and upgrading of existing stormwater infrastructure, 2) to establish guidelines for the implementation of stormwater management infrastructure within future growth areas of the community, and 3) to develop a preliminary stormwater drainage plan for reconstruction of the historic downtown Main Street area. Reconstruction of the historic Main Street area had been identified as a priority project by the Municipality.
The Master Plan process was initiated through the release of a Drainage Questionnaire, which was directly mailed to all property owners within the study area. The questionnaire was seeking to establish general areas of drainage concern within the community, rather than identifying individual lot drainage issues. The questionnaire was successful in obtaining valuable information from community members, as well as helping to raise awareness about the study within the community.
Two public information meetings were held during the Master Plan process, as well as consultation with review and regulatory agencies. The Master Plan study concluded in July 2014 with the final plan identifying a staged approach for implementation within developed areas of the community, as well as detailed guidelines which can be used, within future development areas of the community. The Master Plan will be implemented over a 20-30 year timeframe and was completed to a sufficient level of detail to satisfy the Class EA requirements for Schedule A and A+ activities, identified within the plan. One type of project, construction of new stormwater management facilities, will require the completion of additional environmental assessment prior to implementation.
One of the challenges faced during completion of the Master Plan was addressing recommendations forthcoming from the local Conservation Authority, which sought to implement Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater management methods as part of the Master Plan recommendations. This was addressed by implementing different policies within developed and future growth areas of the community, where LID concepts can be more readily incorporated.