Hamilton City Councillor Brad Clark is looking for more transparency from the city when it comes to how much sewage is being dumped into the environment.
Exactly how much sewage is dumped into the water in the West Harbour, East Harbour, Chedoke Creek and Red Hill Creek is still unclear.
The raw sewage floating in Chedoke creek last summer was from a malfunctioning gate at the combined sewer overflow near the 403, but Clark is concerned about the amount of sewage that is discharged into local waterways by design.
“We’re spending a lot of money to clean up the harbour, but still having issues with blue green algea. The nutrients being dumped into the harbour would add to that.”
In 2017, nearly 3000 megalitres of sewage was dumped into the environment from the city’s CSO tanks, that’s about the volume of 1200 Olympic sized swimming pools.
The system is designed to protect public health, property, and the environment in that order. Part of the problem is Hamilton’s combined sewer system throughout much of the lower city that was built before 1960.
This year, less sewage was discharged into the environment from the CSO tanks, but it was still the volume of about 760 Olympic swimming pools.
Clark just wants everyone to know when it happens.
“We need a protocol in the city that monitors the outflows and discharge points and shares immediate information with city council, the ministry of the environment and the public.”
Most of the city’s discharge points are monitored at the Woodward avenue waste water treatment plant, but there are still 14 in the city that aren’t monitored. Exactly how much sewage is coming out of them is still unknown.