Emergency Meeting

scotto

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
6,999
218
63
The Beach Strip
#1
Date: Wednesday, January 18th 2006.
Time: 7pm.
Place: Hamilton Beach Rescue Hall, 316 Beach Blvd (Across from the Dynes).
Dr. Sorger and his class from McMaster University will be back with test results from the drainage ditches at the end of the sidestreets and the run off from the sewage treatment plant.
I'm told that the results are "very interesting".


This is an important meeting, please make an effort to attend.
 

scotto

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
6,999
218
63
The Beach Strip
#2
Sewage treatment plant just as contaminated as in 1996
Kevin Werner, Stoney Creek News

(Jan 27, 2006)
Effluent from the city's Woodward Avenue Sewage Treatment Plant remains contaminated with ammonia, coliforms and phosphate, and it hasn't gotten better since 1996 despite improvements made by the city, area students have found.

About 20 students from Westdale, Assumption and Parkside high schools tested the water in the Red Hill Creek and the plant's effluent and found the contamination in the effluent was higher from the treatment facility than it was in the water upstream. The students were under the direction of McMaster University biology professor Dr. George Sorger.

The students presented their results to members of the Beach Preservation Society last week.

The students took samples over a three-week period last November and tested for total coliforms, E.coli, ammonium, phosphate and toxicity.

Their results showed there were "very high counts of total coliforms" in the waste treatment facility's effluent and high counts of ammonia.

"I'm disappointed in the results," said Dr. Sorger, who announced he will discontinue his student research program.

"The city doesn't have a clear idea of the outcome (of the treatment plant). There should be absolute guidelines (city officials) have to follow. The water is no dirtier than it is upstream."

The blame, Dr. Sorger said, for the problems at the facility lies at the feet of the provincial government. There is no enforcement mechanism, nor penalties for municipalities when they exceed the requirements contained in their certificate of approvals, he said.

"Since the the certificate of approval is so lax, there is no penalties to force improvement," said Dr. Sorger.

Abdul Khan, director of water and wastewater, defended the Woodward Avenue's past performance.

Although he complimented Dr. Sorger and his student's research, Mr. Khan said the city does more extensive testing on the plant's effluent.

"We take two samples every hour, then we composite them over a 24-hour period," he said. "(The students) took one sample at one specific time."

Mr. Khan acknowledged that the coliform was high, but officials expected the result. From April to November the city puts chloride into the effluent. The students were sampling the water after the chlorination process had stopped, he said.

As for the high counts of ammonia, again officials expected the high results. In fact, most wastewater treatment facilities experience high ammonia numbers, he said.

"It's not just us," he said.

To fix the problem, said Mr. Khan, it will take money, lots of it.

The city is embarking on a wastewater treatment facility master plan and has proposed spending about $450 million to improve the wastewater treatment facility. The money would go towards building a tertiary treatment facility and a disinfectant system, said Mr. Khan. The money is being split three ways among the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

"The technology is there," he said. "It's all about the costs."

Dr. Sorger's results though, provoked Beach residents and environmentalists to demand the city re-launch the Woodward Avenue Community Liaison Committee.

Dr. Sorger urges the city to re-establish a CLC to allow residents the opportunity to study what is happening at the plant.

Brenda Johnson of Environment Hamilton, sent a letter to Public Works general manager Scott Stewart, formally asking the city re-establish the community liaison committee for the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant, in the wake of Dr. Sorger's results.

Once the city's wastewater master plan is introduce in June, people will be able to attend public meetings. The city holds a series of meeting each year, with tone scheduled for late February or early March.

"We have an open door policy now," Dr. Khan said.

Photo; Dr. Sorger fielding questions from the floor.
 
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