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Latest Hamilton sewage release totalled 59M litres

DCN-JOC News Services
Latest Hamilton sewage release totalled 59M litres
DON WALL — Crews sucked up sewage Jan. 10 after the discovery of cross-connected pipes in east Hamilton.

HAMILTON — The City of Hamilton estimates approximately 59 million litres of sanitary sewage was flushed into Hamilton Harbour over 26 years due to a misconnection of wastewater and storm pipes on Rutherford Avenue.

The spill from 11 homes on Rutherford was confirmed on Jan. 9, with repairs being completed on Jan. 11, stated city release. The spill was identified as staff undertook a pilot inspection program initiated by the city in the wake of the Burlington Street spill discovered last November.

A city inspection crew found a combined sewer serving the homes had been mislabelled as a storm sewer in 1996 and was connected to a storm sewer on Myrtle Avenue, allowing household sewage from the homes to flow directly into Lake Ontario.

All sewage is now flowing into the Myrtle Avenue combined sewer and all appropriate blocking of the storm sewer has been completed.

The statement said the first priority of the pilot is looking at the older areas of the city, specifically the combined sewers in the areas where there are overflows to the Wentworth Street, Birch/Sherman, Ottawa and Kenilworth combined sewer overflow outfalls.

The city has been in frequent touch with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks Spills Actions Centre, staff said, but there have not yet been orders given by the ministry regarding a broader inspection plan.

Staff are visually inspecting each maintenance hole and also using a pole-mounted camera. They are specifically looking for connections in each chamber that are undocumented. The connections are then further inspected using a camera that runs through the pipe and other means such as dye tests.

To date, the city has discovered six undocumented sewer regulators (locations where combined sewage may discharge to the storm sewer during wet weather), and one cross-connected sewer (the one identified at Rutherford/Myrtle).

After preliminary investigation and consultation of city records, staff believe the incorrect connection was made in 1996, when a new storm sewer was installed on Myrtle Avenue.

The estimated cost of the repair work, excluding staff time, totals $37,529 which includes initial CCTV investigation and flushing, $1,512; vacuuming costs, $10,017; excavation, parts and sewer realignment cost, $22,000; and permanent road restoration, $4,000.

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