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Chedoke Creek spill related costs reach $2 million, dredging still to come

Hamilton’s General Issues Committee (GIC) has received an update on costs related to a sewage spill into Chedoke Creek. Don Mitchell / Global News Hamilton

The city has spent more than $2 million in relation to the spill of 24 billion litres of sewage and untreated wastewater into Chedoke Creek.

Andrew Grice, director of water, presented the update to city councillors on Wednesday afternoon, saying that some of the costs relate to an internal investigation into the leak.

Read more: Hamilton work plan calls for dredging of Chedoke Creek by summer 2022

Grice says other costs are in response to orders from Ontario’s environment ministry, requiring the city to measure the environmental impacts and come up with a remediation plan.

He adds that costs go back as far as identifying the “gate in question,” which was left in a partially open position, allowing the 24 billion litres to escape from a combined sewer overflow (CSO) tank between 2014 and 2018.

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The city’s costs will continue to rise in the year ahead as targeted dredging of Chedoke Creek begins, as required by the provincial orders.

The city is also required to undertake “mitigation” measures within the Cootes Paradise marsh, into which the creek empties. A related work plan was recently submitted to the ministry for approval.

Read more: Cootes Paradise cleanup strategies include in-water aeration, floating wetland

Costs incurred to date include $904,803 on studies including storm sewer and CSO inspections, a Cootes Paradise environmental impact evaluation and a study to quantify the volume and contaminant loadings from the Main/King CSO Tank discharge.

Another $817,819 has been spent on operations and outreach, including a surface water quality program, the creation of an enhanced facility inspection team, a CSO bypass notification website and educational video, a wastewater quality management system and a floatables study.

Over $111,000 has been spent on initial cleanup costs and more than $174,000 on legal fees.

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