The City of Cornwall is committed to building a greener community. Cornwall City Council has identified Environmental Stewardship as one of three key strategic priorities to guide the City's efforts in the months and years ahead, and a variety of projects and initiatives are being implemented to help achieve this commitment.

Below you will find information on the various environmental initiatives that are currently underway.

 Energy Efficiency Working Group

In 2010, City Council approved the establishment of an Energy Efficiency Working Group (EEWG) to review and analyze current energy consumption levels and costs in City facilities. The EEWG is also tasked with reviewing various energy efficiency initiatives throughout the City of Cornwall and guiding the development of the City's Energy Efficiency Policy.

As part of its work, the EEWG prepares an annual Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report which contains the City's energy consumption levels within City facilities and our Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan.

 Solid Waste Management Master Plan

In 2009, the City of Cornwall began a review of their existing waste management system in order to identify program areas that could be optimized. The review included an assessment of existing infrastructure and programs against industry regulatory requirements, proposed regulatory change, and recognized industry best practices.

Click here for more information about the Solid Waste Management Master Plan.

Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution

The Corporation of the City of Cornwall owns and operates the Cornwall Drinking Water System (DWS #220001049).

It consists of the Raw Water Intake & Zebra Mussel Control Facilities located at the base of the R.H. Saunders Power Generating Station Dam, the Water Purification Plant (a class 3 water treatment facility located at 861 Second Street West), the Boundary Road Reservoir, the Elevated Storage Tank located on Tollgate Road.

The City of Cornwall also operates the City’s Distribution System which is classified as a class 3 distribution system.

Cornwall’s Drinking Water System is classified as a “Large Municipal Residential Drinking Water System” under Ontario Drinking Water Regulation 170/03.

Over 11.8 billion litres of fresh, clean water are pumped annually through over 280 kilometres of watermains to efficiently distribute the City's drinking water supply.

The water provided by the City of Cornwall is removed from the St. Lawrence River and treated according to standard surface water purification and treatment methods before being distributed to homes and businesses.

The Water Purification Plant uses chemically assisted coagulation and flocculation to remove particles suspended in the raw water.  These particles clump together and are allowed to settle in tanks that are automatically cleaned at regular intervals.  The water is then filtered through anthracite media and treated with UV light and chlorine to trap and disinfect any of the remaining harmful pathogens.

The system is rigorously inspected annually and has earned its ELEVENTH consecutive 100% compliance rating from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks in 2019.

Click here for more information about the Water Purification and Distribution System

 Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades
The upgrade to the City of Cornwall Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest construction project ever undertaken by the City. The project consists of a series of upgrades to the existing plant, and the main objectives of these upgrades are:
  • upgrade the treatment process to include secondary treatment. This will allow the plant to meet higher effluent targets in accordance with Provincial and Federal policies and regulations.
  • increase the plant's overall capacity. This will support future growth and development of the City and it will also assist the City in managing potential combined sewer overflows.

Click here for more information about the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

 Water Meters

The City of Cornwall is looking for single-family household owners to volunteer for the installation of a free water meter.

This project will help the City gather accurate water use information from participating single-family homes as well as help the City test new electronic meter reading devices.

A water meter will help homeowners analyze their consumption habits and help the environment by reducing the wasting of drinking water.  The water meter and the installation are completely free to the homeowner, and the existing water and sewer billing rates will remain in effect.

For further information or to volunteer for your free water meter & installation please phone 613-930-2787 ext. 2192.

 LED Streetlight Pilot Project

The City of Cornwall has installed Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlight fixtures on Water Street between Augustus Street and Seymour Avenue as part of a pilot project to explore alternative lighting technologies.

A total of 30 LED streetlight fixtures have been installed for the pilot project, and they will be examined against the existing High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlight fixtures that are in place throughout the City.

LED fixtures are seen as a more dependable and energy-efficient form of lighting compared to traditional streetlights. LED fixtures are estimated to reduce energy consumption by as much as 70 % in addition to providing significant savings in maintenance costs. LED lights could last as much as six times longer than standard streetlights with little maintenance required through their life cycle.

"This presents an opportunity for significant savings, but first we need to test the LED lights and see if they provide adequate illumination, and also test them from the point of view of the roadway and sidewalk users," said Enrique Kamm, Transportation Engineer.

Residents should notice a slight difference with the LED streetlight fixtures as they are expected to distribute a white light compared to the more yellowish light that comes from the existing High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlight fixtures.

LED technology is not entirely new to the City. From 2003 to 2005, all of the traffic signal heads in the City were converted from incandescent to LED, resulting in reduced maintenance costs, increased reliability and significant energy and maintenance savings.

The LED streetlights on Water Street are the first streetlights of this nature to be installed in the City.

For more information on the project, please contact Enrique Kamm at 613-930-2787 ext. 2231.

 Source Water Protection

Source water is the raw water taken from lakes, rivers or underground aquifers to supply drinking water.  Source protection keeps the raw water as clean as possible to lower the risk that contaminants will get through or overwhelm the treatment system.  Source water for municipal residential drinking water systems in Ontario is protected through the Clean Water Act, 2006 (CWA, 2006).

The CWA, 2006 came into effect on July 3, 2007.  The intent of the Act is to protect sources of water to municipal residential water systems and ultimately protect human health and the environment.

The Act and Ontario Regulation 287/07, stipulate requirements for source protection policies made under Part IV of the Act. In Cornwall, the Raisin-South Nation Source Protection Committee was responsible to complete an Assessment Report and Source Protection Plan which the City is required to be in compliance with.

The approved Raisin-South Nation Source Protection Plan (October 2014) came into effect April 1, 2015.  The Assessment Report for each Source Protection Area identifies the activities which, under certain circumstances, could pose a threat to either water quality or water quantity.

The City of Cornwall’s Source Protection Area includes an Intake Protection Zone 1 and 2, classified by distanced around the intake the time it takes water to travel to the intake.

In 2015, the City of Cornwall developed a Source Water Protection Implementation Guide to meet all obligations under the CWA, complete with an application process.

See for more information on The City of Cornwall’s intake and to access the Raisin- South Nation Source Protection Plan with supporting documents.

To inquire more about the City’s efforts, contact Tracy Gordon at 613-930-2787 ext. 2271.

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Carl Goodwin
Division Manager, Environment
861 Second Street West, Box 877, Cornwall ON, K6H 5T9

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Enrique Kamm
Transportation Engineer
1225 Ontario Street, Box 877, Cornwall ON, K6H 5T9
T.: 613-930-2787 ext. 2231
F.: 613-932-8891
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