Merrickville Mayor Doug Struthers says a sewage treatment plant in need of replacement in his Eastern Ontario village poses a serious environmental threat to the Rideau Canal.

Struthers said the town can't afford the roughly $8 million it would cost to build a new treatment facility.

A report first identified problems with the plant's sewage tanks in 2002. A more recent 2007 report showed that several sewage tanks no longer have the wall thickness to maintain their contents and "leaks are imminent."

Merrickville is along the Rideau Canal system about an hour south of Ottawa.

The federal government has already committed up to $2 million to the project, but the money is conditional on the township receiving the rest of the $8 million needed from the province or other sources.

So far, requests for provincial funding for a new treatment plant have been rejected.