Friday , 27 January 2023
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Hamilton Water discovers a 26 – year sewer cross connection and discharge

A routine check by Hamilton water workers has revealed another cross connected sewer. As a result of the Burlington Street West spill on November 22, 2022, Hamilton Water staff have been piloting a risk-based inspection program that focuses on other areas of the combined sewer system where similar sewer cross connections could be present.

On Saturday Hamilton Water staff were conducting a number of these investigations and discovered a potential cross connected sewer on Rutherford Avenue at Myrtle Avenue in Ward 3. Staff verified earlier this afternoon that this cross connection does exist.

Based on staff’s preliminary investigation and consultation of City records, a 100-year-old combined sewer pipe was connected into a newly constructed storm sewer in 1996. Since that time as many as 11 residential properties have been discharging sanitary wastewater directly to the storm sewer and to Hamilton Harbour.

Volume likely lower than the Burlington Street incident

Staff are not currently aware of the exact volume of the discharge but will report this number as soon as their assessment is complete. The sewer cross-connection discovered last year on Burlington Street resulted in an estimated 337 million litres of sewage discharge over roughly the same period of time as the newest one. However in that case, there were 50 homes hooked up to the line. Todays incident involves only 11 residences. By comparison more than 4 Billion litres went directly into the bay in the year 2021 as a result of periodic heavy rainfalls overwhelming the system.

Upon discovering the leak, Hamilton Water staff are taking the following actions:

•              Reported the spill to MECP Spills Action Centre around 1:45 p.m.

•              Reported the spill to City Spills around 1:55 p.m.

•              Took short-term action to stop the flow from the leak to the Harbour

A vacuum truck has been mobilized to the location to prevent the discharge from occurring while City Staff determine an appropriate permanent remedy.

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