Wardsville, Ontario

Wardsville is a community in south western Ontario comprised of 170 homes and businesses, a large nursing home, and a golf course.  Wardsville had been experiencing the progressive failure of its communal and private sewage systems for several decades; raw sewage was surfacing in the community, contaminating local wells and storm water drainage basins that eventually discharged untreated sewage into the Thames River and other surrounding creeks.  In 1999, after considerable research, Wardsville’s Municipal Council selected Clearford’s SBS® wastewater collection system over a traditional “big pipe” gravity sewer.


Highlights of the Wardsville SBS® Installation

  • Design capacity of 450 people (homes, businesses, nursing home & golf course)
  • Smart DigesterTM capacity: 3.6-m3 individual + (2) 45-m3 communal
  • Collection system: 4.5-km long, 75-mm diameter HDPE piping
  • Existing extended aeration
  • Using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technology, the project was installed in eight months with no road closures and no detours;
  • The SBS® system was connected directly to the buildings’ existing sanitary drains, significantly reducing onsite plumbing costs to the homeowner. Homes did not require expensive internal re-plumbing to a “big pipe” system.


“I was a member of the Wardsville municipal council when the Clearford SBS® was selected in 1989 as the most cost-effective and environmentally sensible solution to our wastewater servicing requirements – for half the estimated cost of a conventional gravity sewer system. The Clearford system in fact services my own home and I think this solution makes sense – economically and environmentally – for municipalities throughout the province.”

– Marigay Wilkins

Councillor Municipality of Southwest Middlesex, Ontario


“Wardsville faced the same challenge that so many communities still face today:  failing septic systems, no community water service and a constrained capital and operational budget. For just over half the estimated cost of a conventional big pipe system, Clearford provided a simple, cost-effective and environmentally sensible solution to our wastewater servicing requirements. We’ve seen conventional systems installed in other communities take almost twice as long to install and cost significantly more. The ability of Clearford to incorporate horizontal drilling with their SBS® technology meant that there was comparatively no disruption to our community during construction. I like to compare our system’s installation to that of a heart operation… using the Clearford SBS® was like opting for an angioplasty rather than open heart surgery. In these days of dwindling Federal and Provincial funding programs for municipal infrastructure, and the need to get value for every dollar spent, Clearford’s SBS® system makes sense for municipalities.”

– Mayor Doug Reycraft

Municipality of Southwest Middlesex, Ontario President of AMO