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City to expand scope of Kenilworth reservoir restoration project

The City of Hamilton has paid a contractor to remove 16,000 tonnes of contaminated soil from around the Kenilworth reservoir. Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

The cost of cleaning up Hamilton’s Kenilworth drinking water reservoir is rising by another $400,000.

City councillors have been been told that the project’s timelines need to be extended through the end of the year, to allow for the removal of “isolated patches” of contaminated slag.

Read more: Contaminated soil removal to begin at Kenilworth reservoir

The additional work has been approved by Hamilton’s public works committee, but still needs final approval from city council when it meets next Wednesday.

Mark Bainbridge, Hamilton’s director of water and wastewater planning, said expanding the project’s scope would ensure the material doesn’t leach into the drinking water of mountain residents at some point in the future.

“We don’t want any risk that PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are going to migrate through the points in the reservoir roof,” said Bainbridge.

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Read more: Carcinogen discovered in soil on top of Hamilton’s Kenilworth reservoir

“It is currently estimated that 3,200 cubic metres of slag is present as isolated patches,” added Bainbridge, “not something that we are really wanting to see on-site at a potable storage for treated drinking water.”

Some 16,000 tonnes of polluted soil have already been trucked from the site, and staff believe the slag removal can be completed within the project’s initial $7-million budget.

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