Hamilton to see ‘visible work’ at Kay Drage as creek cleanup starts

Click to play video: 'Hamilton City Council accused of “cover-up” of sewage leak'
Hamilton City Council accused of “cover-up” of sewage leak
A four-year leak saw about 24 billion litres of raw sewage spill into Hamilton’s Chedoke Creek. The city notified public of water quality concerns after it found out, but didn’t disclose just how bad it was. Mark Carcasole reports. – Nov 29, 2019

The City of Hamilton, Ont. says the public should see “visible work” at Kay Drage Park next week as contractors begin deploying equipment to dredge Chedoke Creek.

Director of Water Nick Winters says a dredging barge and pipeline will be hooked up within days as machines prepare to take on remediation of the waterway starting Monday, July 17.

“You can expect to see some activity starting in the creek on Tuesday into the end of the week as they put that equipment together,” Winters said.

The city has until Oct. 31 to complete the targeted dredging of the creek to prevent ecological impacts following the release of 24 billion litres of untreated wastewater between 2014 and 2018 into waterways around Cootes Paradise.

Winters says the first week will involve sweeping the creek for debris that could potentially hinder the dredging machine, such as large rocks and tree limbs.

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The remediation work, originally set to happen during a six-month period in 2022, has experienced delays amid negotiations with a group representing the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.

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The Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) was one of several Six Nations groups that had been seeking answers on the scope of the remediation process as per their treaty rights.

At one point, demonstrators stopped the work contesting improper consultation on the actual specifics of the cleanup as a dredging machine was dropped into the water at Kay Drage last summer.

In May, the city came to an agreement ending an application in the courts to compel the provincial Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to give city contractors full access to the site.

Winters says as part of that agreement, technical staff recruited by the HDI have been participating in training to oversee the remediation.

The process is expected to finish at the deadline, using the entire three and half months remaining.

“Whether or not there are any delays encountered … there is some room in the … schedule for that,” Winters said.

“So, we’re fully confident that we will be done within the timelines that have been set out by the ministry.”

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