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Report says $150 million and years of effort will clean up Chedoke Creek

A new report outlines more than $150 million in short- and long-term recommendations to clean up Hamilton's Chedoke Creek. Don Mitchell / Global News

A new report will go before city councillors next week that paints a complete picture of what it will ultimately take to restore Hamilton’s Chedoke Creek.

The 219-page report from GM Blueplan Engineering lists a series of short-term and long-term measures, with a total price tag of more than $150 million.

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

The short-term work is expected to begin this summer, with the removal of dead algae and placement of small-scale aeration systems near the mouth of Cootes Paradise to guard against the formation of noxious algal blooms.

That will be followed by targeted dredging of Chedoke Creek over the next year at an estimated cost of $6.2 million, as ordered by the province’s Environment Ministry, after 24 billion litres of sewage and untreated wastewater leaked into the creek through a partially opened gate on a combined sewer overflow (CSO) tank between 2014 and 2018.

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Read more: Province approves city’s plan for targeted dredging of Chedoke Creek

Among the report’s other recommendations, some of which are included in the city’s previously submitted work plan for restoring Cootes Paradise, are managing runoff from nearby highways and golf courses, preventing landfill runoff from entering the watercourse, modernizing the sewer system to reduce incidences of pollution entering the creek during storms and constructing floating wetlands.

The report presents a work plan to have all the suggested $150 million in improvements financed over the next 15 years or so.

The study also lists several key causes of pollution and “significant” environmental impacts within the creek, including:

  • Sewage flowing directly into the water from CSO tanks.
  • Untreated stormwater runoff from Hamilton’s stormwater system.
  • Runoff and the potential for spills from Highway 403, the railway and west harbour railyard.
  • Potential contamination from the Kay Drage landfill.

Read more: Drone mapping to assist clean up of Hamilton’s Chedoke Creek

The engineering report will be presented to Hamilton’s general issues committee during a meeting on Monday.

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