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Warm weather, low water levels mean early arrival of algae in Cootes Paradise

City consultants are working to pinpoint locations for dredging of sewage in Chedoke Creek, as algae makes a spring appearance at Princess Point. Don Mitchell / Global News

There’s been an early-season appearance of algae within Cootes Paradise in Hamilton.

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks says Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) has provided information on the emergence of algae in the Princess Point area.

Read more: Action coming to address Hamilton’s blue-green algae stench

At this time, spokesperson Lindsay Davidson says the ministry understands it to be green algae, not harmful blue-green algae.

Davidson says the early sighting is not unexpected given warmer than usual temperatures, dry conditions and lower water levels, all of which promote algal growth.

Andrew Grice, Hamilton’s director of water, also cites that combination of factors, as well as recent rainfall, which he says has stirred up “decaying” material from the bottom of Cootes Paradise.

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

Coincidentally, Grice says the emergence of algae is happening at the same time that city consultants are working in nearby Chedoke Creek.

He says the consultants are working to comply with provincial cleanup orders related to the spill of 24 billion litres of sewage and untreated water into the creek through a partially-open gate to a combined sewage overflow tank between 2014 and 2018.

Grice says the consultants are “pinpointing” locations for a required dredging of the material.

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