City of Hamilton managing contaminated soil at the Kenilworth Water Reservoir

Hamilton Water employees have discovered a large amount of contaminated soil at the site of the Kenilworth Reservoir at the Kenilworth Access. Earlier today, the City’s General Issues Committee received a report and presentation from the  Director of Hamilton Water, Andrew Grice, who said the soil was found at the Kenilworth Water Reservoir during routine maintenance work.

Quick Facts

•           In early 2020, Hamilton Water began a planned $6.4 million capital rehabilitation and upgrade project at the Kenilworth Reservoir, which is one of the City’s primary water assets and feeds drinking water to many homes on the Hamilton Mountain.

•           During the course of construction at the site, the contractor noticed some visual concerns with the soil and tested two small samples of soil, which showed high levels of benzo(a)pyrene – a type of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH).

•           Additional tests indicated that approximately 50 per cent of the soil at the reservoir site contains various levels of PAHs.

•           While benzo(a)pyrene is not typically found in water, Hamilton Water conducted three separate water quality tests to ensure there was no impact to the drinking water as a precautionary measure. As expected, no concerns were detected in the drinking water.

•           There are no water quality or public health impacts related to the contaminated soil.

•           The City has since engaged with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) regarding the contaminated soil issue.

•           The reservoir was constructed in 1964, which is during an era where soil management was not top of mind for construction teams.

The soil testing was completed by dividing the area at the Kenilworth Water Reservoir into 10 ft. x 10 ft. boxes.195 samples were taken. Approximately 50 per cent of the soil samples were shown to contain various levels of Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The total volume of soil at the Kenilworth Reservoir is approximately 18,000m3. Therefore, it is estimated that approximately 9,000m3 (or about nine tonnes) of soil may be contaminated.

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