Posted on January 3, 2024
Sixteen tonnes of polluted sediment have been removed from Chedoke Creek this year, with a one-month extension allowing the City of Hamilton to meet its provincially-mandated target of December 31 to complete the dredging of the creek and its contaminated soil.
A valve left open for nearly four years, resulting in 24 billion litres of sewage spewing into Chedoke Creek between 2014 and 2018 became an environmental disaster for the City and led to a lawsuit that was settled in July when Hamilton pled guilty in July at the Ontario Court of Justice to charges laid by Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks three years prior.
The settlement for ‘Sewergate’ included a $2.1 million fine, a payment of $364,500 in damages to the Royal Botanical Gardens and a $525,000 victim fine surcharge. The penalty was paid using reserve funds.
“We’re encouraged that we’ve met the Province’s deadline,” said Watershed Management Director Cari Vanderperk. “The City will continue working with our community partners to improve the water quality of Chedoke Creek and Cootes. We know it’s a priority for the community and Council.”
The City was given until November 30 to finish the dredging work, as well as sediment transport and disposal, and was then granted a one-month extension to finish the job by the end of the year.
Approximately 300 truckloads were required to remove all the sediment.
Site clean-up including dismantling of the pond and berms and disposal of the berm material will continue into January and the restoration of Kay Drage Park will begin in the Spring 2024, as soon as weather permits, Vanderperk added.
The City is also required to submit a report to the Environment Ministry MECP within a month stating that the natural environment has been restored to pre-spill conditions and that further impairment to the natural environment “will not occur” because of any future discharge to Chedoke Creek.
For regular updates on project progress see the Chedoke Creek Remediation website at www.hamilton.ca/chedokecreekremediation.