The province of Ontario has approved the city of Hamilton’s cleanup strategy for Cootes Paradise and the western Hamilton Harbour area of Lake Ontario in response to the spilling of 24 billion litres of sewage and untreated wastewater between 2014 and 2018.
The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has okayed a remediation and mitigation workplan as part of a second order related to discharge into Chedoke Creek.
In early July, a 219-page report from GM Blueplan Engineering listed a series of short-term and long-term measures, with a total price tag of more than $150 million financed over the next 15 years or so.
Short-term work is expected to begin in September and includes the deployment of large scale vegetative mats in Princess Point bay, 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, potentially in the summer of next year, initially pegged at an estimated cost of $6.2 million.
Three environmental studies are expected to precede the dredging — a Lower Chedoke master study, an exploratory probe on dredging beyond Princess Point Embayment in Cootes Paradise, and stormwater retrofit master study.
Upon the MOE approval of the consultants undertaking the studies, it’s excepted all three will take the better part of a year to complete, according to the city.