Newly discovered leak sends 59 million litres of sewage into Hamilton Harbour

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Hamilton estimates 59 million litres of sanitary sewage flowed into the Hamilton Harbour over 26 years from a spill being contributed to by 11 properties on Rutherford Avenue.

The spill was confirmed Jan. 9 and repairs were completed Jan.11, 2023. It was discovered as part of a proactive risk-based inspection pilot program initiated after the Burlington Street spill in November 2022. This pilot program is still underway.

City staff developed this estimate based on the water meter usage data from the 11 properties connected to the combined sewer pipe. Similar to the calculation for the spill that occurred on Burlington Street, there were several ways city staff could calculate the overall estimated volume of wastewater discharged into the Hamilton Harbour, but this methodology was identified as the most accurate representation of the discharge over the time period.

Myrtle at Rutherford Hamilton
Arial view of the Myrtle and Rutherford Ave. area where the long-term spill occurred.

All sewage is now flowing into the Myrtle Avenue combined sewer and all appropriate blocking of the storm sewer has been completed.

The estimated cost of the repair work is $37,529 which includes:

  • Initial CCTV investigation and flushing – $1,512
  • Vacuuming Costs – $10,017
  • Excavation, parts and sewer realignment cost – $22,000
  • Permanent road restoration – $4,000

City staff remain in close communication with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) Spills Actions Centre and shared the estimated volume of discharge with them this morning.

There has been some discussion about an order from the MECP related to the spill. Hamilton Water staff has been meeting with staff from the MECP regarding a possible order related to the November 22, 2022 Burlington Street Spill. Conversations have been productive, however, at the time of this news release, an Order has not been issued.


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