A key deadline is approaching in regards to the dredging of Hamilton’s Chedoke Creek.
Hamilton city councillors have received a status update, ahead of Monday’s deadline for submitting a work plan to Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment.
The work plan will outline a strategy for required dredging, after 24 billion litres of sewage and untreated wastewater leaked into the waterway through an overflow tank’s partially opened gate between 2014 and 2018.
Despite a ministry order that the remediation be completed by Oct. 31, 2021, Director of Water Andrew Grice acknowledges the city’s timeline estimates completing during the summer of 2022.
“We have had numerous consultations with the ministry, and they are aware that our work plan is showing this date,” said Grice.
“We seem to be walking hand-in-hand with them on this, and although they have not changed the overall deadline, at this point they fully understand the challenges that we are facing.”
Grice says the main timeline challenge after design work is completed, is getting needed permits and approvals from a variety of federal and provincial agencies before work can start.
Hamilton’s general issues committee has been told that the restoration plan calls for contaminants to be sucked hydraulically from Chedoke Creek, then disposed of in the sewer system during non-storm periods to eliminate the risk of a supplemental overflow.
The environment ministry’s orders, which were issued in late 2020, also require the city to undertake remediation activities in Cootes Paradise and the western portion of Hamilton Harbour.
The city is required to submit a second work plan, specific to those restoration efforts, ahead of a March 22 deadline.