As the City of Hamilton continues to investigate the 26-year-old sewer leak, the Ford government is now asking City Hall to audit its entire sewer system.
The city says it discovered the spill Tuesday that was flowing into a storm drain headed to Hamilton Harbour, adding that the connection was made by mistake in 1996.
The city says the sewage leak in Burlington and Wentworth Street has been fixed, but following the discovery of the 26-year-old spill, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the Ford government have said more needed to be done.
“Hamilton citizens’ questions must be answered about the serious problems with our water infrastructure and environmental safety standards, it shouldn’t take two decades to resolve,” said Flamborough-Glanbrook MP Donna Skelly.
In an interview with CHCH News, Environment Minister David Piccini said work needed to be done: “Immediately upon learning of this latest spill and speaking with the Mayor of Hamilton, I asked my department to demand that Hamilton audit its entire sewer system and come up with a remediation plan so that we can put an end to this mess.
On Wednesday, Hamilton Water chief Nick Winters said contractors at the time of the incident had misinformation, believing the two sewers were just stormwater.
Winters says the sewer system is 2,100 kilometers long. Mayor Andrea Horwath says it won’t be an easy task for the city alone. “I look forward to talking with the Minister about how we can do this quickly.”
The City of Hamilton responded today saying “the city has not received an order from the MECP at this time, but in the event the city does receive an order, they will be happy to discuss it at that time. “.
Hamilton Water says it is still determining how much sewage has entered the city’s industrial port and its impact on the environment.
The Department of the Environment in Ottawa told CHCH News today that it has assigned a law enforcement officer to the incident, but would not provide details of his involvement.
The City of Hamilton tweeted that the repair and realignment work was completed last night and sewage is no longer flowing into the harbour.