case Studies

Shantz Station Pit

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Key Personnel
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Peter A. Gray, P.Geo., FGC
Vice President
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Jay Flanagan, B.E.S., B.Ed.
Manager, Aggregate Resources | Kitchener
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Project Overview

Our team was retained to conduct a hydrogeological investigation to characterize groundwater aquifers under this site. Of particular interest was the connection to Hopewell Creek, the Breslau Wetland Complex, and the Hopewell Creek Riparian Wetland.  In addition to the hydrogeology investigation, we designed the entrance and internal haul road for the new gravel pit that would allow access to/from the site.

Located approximately 750 m south of Maryhill, ON, the Shantz Station Pit was uniquely located close to market such that it could supply quality aggregate products to Kitchener, Guelph, and Cambridge quickly and easily. The plan for Capital Paving was to extract sand and gravel from above the water table and supply aggregate to local projects. The new pit is approximately 93.5 ha in size.

MTE’s Involvement

Our team was challenged with understanding the groundwater and surface water connections so that aggregate could be extracted without disrupting contributions to creeks and wetlands. To this end, MTE collected groundwater data using monitoring wells and wetland piezometers to establish the maximum water table elevation.  This information was used to establish the pit floor elevation.  As part of the study, MTE also assessed potential impacts to the Breslau Wetland Complex, the Hopewell Creek Riparian Wetland, and Hopewell Creek using flow stations. One particular challenge was designing a haul route to the extraction area without disrupting ecological connections through the Breslau Wetland Complex. As part of the solution, a Wetland Compensation and Enhancement Plan was designed.

Following our analyses, our team was able to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the surface water and groundwater systems and provide recommendations for the extraction that would allow the proposed pit to proceed. Through the process, MTE obtained sign-off from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Region of Waterloo, the Township of Woolwich, and the Grand River Conservation Authority.  In August 2023, our team was successful at the Ontario Land Tribunal and Capital Paving was awarded a License to extract aggregate under the Aggregate Resources Act.