City of Hamilton seeks to comply with Chedoke Creek orders

The edge of Chedoke Creek in Hamilton, Ont. Don Mitchell / Global News Hamilton

The City of Hamilton says it will proceed with the dredging of Chedoke Creek, as outlined in an order from the Ministry of Environment.

The timelines require a plan to be submitted to the ministry by Feb. 22, and that remediation be completed by Oct. 31, 2021.

Read more: City of Hamilton faces provincial charges for 4-year spill into Chedoke Creek

General Manager of Public Works Dan McKinnon says it’s an “optimistic timeline,” but said, “we are going to go great gangbusters here to satisfy the order with every resource that we have.”

McKinnon says the biggest concern is the length of time it might take to get the permits that are required before they can start dredging.

He expects that the city will need to obtain permits from the Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and Transport Canada.

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Read more: Province orders City of Hamilton to undertake remedial measures after Chedoke Creek sewage spill

Andrew Grice, the director of Hamilton Water, says how dredging will be carried out has yet to be determined, but it’s likely to be “some form of hydraulic operation,” rather than a mechanical process.

Grice notes that mechanical dredging is “challenging from a vegetation perspective,” adding that they will be required to “not have any adverse impacts to the ecosystem.”

McKinnon says the goal is a “better outcome than what we had” before the spill of 24 billion litres of sewage and untreated wastewater into Chedoke Creek between 2014 and 2018.

The sewage entered the creek, and went unnoticed for four years, through a partially open gate on an underground overflow tank.

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