Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Two articles in today's Waterloo Region Record tell the tale as to how little our progress really has been. The first article is titled "Despite pressure, EPA won't call Lake Erie's Ohio waters impaired". This is in reference to the increasingly prevalent toxic algal blooms in the west end of Lake Erie in recent years. This should concern us because our Heritage River the Grand discharges into Lake Erie albeit not at the western end. The second article is a little closer to home and is titled "Hamilton forced to dump raw sewage in harbour".

Yes they were forced this spring to release bypasses of raw or semi raw sewage into Hamilton Harbour due to record breaking rainfall during April and early May. Two points need to be made however. Firstly record setting weather including rainfall isn't news. It's been happening with increasing frequency over the last two decades. Our authorities and politicians need to deal with it through infrastructure upgrades rather than through legacy projects like our made in Waterloo Region LRT system. Secondly rainfall and raw sewage should not be together thus overwhelming the capacity of our sewage treatment plants during storms. This error has also happened here locally in Elmira and there has been an I & I (inflow & infiltration) program in place for years. Essentially cross-connections of rainfall and sewage pipes are slowly being eliminated. Also piping of eavetrough and or sump pumps into the sanitary sewers versus into the storm sewer system are also slowly being eliminated. Granted there is much more volume of work to be done in Hamilton for example but clearly it desperately needs to be done. Otherwise as our population continues to grow we can only expect more environmental degradation of our Great lakes due to sewage bypasses in cities such as Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Kingston.

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