E&S Septic hasn't resumed its septage services as GFL has not welcomed them back yet. The province said some haulers have been. (Submitted photo)

ELMSDALE:  A septic service owner in East Hants is calling on the Municipality of East Hants and HRM to create disposal sites within their own communities.

Mike Powell, with E&S Septic, has made his concerns known in the past, long before a recent issue that saw GFL in Windsor email local haulers telling them they are experiencing operational challenges and can’t accept outside septic waste.

“There are lagoons and potential waste sites right here in our community,” said Powell in an interview with The Laker News. “It would be ideal to be supporting a local East Hants waste management facility, keeping money and jobs here in East Hants.

“It would also reduce travel time, and likely reduce disposal costs. This in turn would reduce costs burdened onto the customers of household septic pumping.”


He said that waste management facilities outside of East Hants (such as GFL, Amherst, Lunenberg) should have always been considered a backup and never a primary dumping solution.

“I brought these concerns to the municipality of East Hants two years ago, searching for a local waste disposal area,” he said. “These concerns were never dealt with, and now with this recent closure, it has brought even more concern, which could have been prevented years ago.”

The other two known local septage companies impacted are Snook’s in Beaver Bank area and Hilchie’s Environmental Septic in the Fall River/Windsor Junction area.

For E&S Septic, GFL was their primary disposal site due to its location relative to most of his East Hants customers.

“It was much more reasonably priced (compared to Halifax Water disposal site in Aerotech),” he said.


In a release on Friday, Halifax Water said in collaboration with the Halifax Regional Municipality, they have developed a short-term solution to address concerns regarding capacity constraints in the wastewater treatment system for private septic systems.

Beginning June 24 private septage haulers will be able to dispose of septage loads at a secured, monitored site compliant with regulatory requirements. 

This site, adjacent to the Aerotech Wastewater Treatment Plant, will be available for up to three weeks to help manage the impacts of an unanticipated mechanical failure at a privately owned facility.

Halifax Water said this is in response to the concerns raised about capacity constraints within private and public systems and is the result of discussions between Halifax Water, the Halifax Regional Municipality and Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change (NSECC) on ways to help alleviate some of this pressure. 

“Private septic systems are the responsibility of property owners and are regulated, with specific guidelines by NSECC,” said Kenda MacKenzie, Acting GM of Halifax Water in a release. “However, both the municipality and Halifax Water understand how essential septic tank pumping services are for residential and commercial properties to safeguard health, safety and the environment.”

Halifax Water will prepare the site over the next few days and open for septage haulers on Monday, June 24. 

Site Location Directly across from 449 Aerotech Drive  
Hours of Operations Weekdays (excluding holidays) 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM 

 In the release, it said that as part of this process, septage haulers must sign an agreement with Halifax Water stating that each operator will accept and meet several conditions and requirements before the utility will accept any septage material for disposal.

Starting on Monday, June 24, private haulers can call Halifax Water Customer Care or visit here.


For Powell, he’s no longer offering household septic pumping.

“This impacts my income and also my client-base,” he said.

“This decision was not made lightly, but I am unable to offer a fair price to customers because other options are either far away (gas and time costs) or double the price for disposal (Halifax Water site).”

He said in his bookings he tries not to book customers too far out, but since June 17 has had to decline/turn away approx. 60 potential household septic pump jobs this week.

What is Powell’s plan going forward until a resolution is found?

“My plan for the foreseeable future is to continue to offer portable toilet rental services and be available only to household septic customers in emergency situations (household backups etc.),” he said.

“I own 75 portable toilets which I rent out to construction sites, events, and municipal parks. I will continue to keep up with these toilet rentals and contracts.”

Deputy Mayor Cathy Deagle Gammon, Councillor Pam Lovelace, along with Hants East MLA John A. MacDonald and Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank MLA Brian Wong have each made posts about the issue.

According to the posts ,made by Hilchie’s, Deagle Gammon and Lovelace are following the issue closely and “being diligent in striving for answers.”