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Chedoke Creek Spill Remediation at Cootes Paradise

October 29, 2021

In July 2018, the City of Hamilton informed the public that the largest of the Combined Sewer Overflow tanks within the City had malfunctioned.  In November 2019, it was clarified that this tank had been malfunctioning since 2014, with 2018 including an additional malfunction. The effect was the discharged of 24-billion litres of sewage and urban stormwater spill into Chedoke Creek and subsequently Cootes Paradise Marsh over a period of four years. Royal Botanical Gardens publicly voiced our concerns, while at the same time providing ongoing environmental condition monitoring updates for Cootes Paradise to Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan partners. 

Following a Provincial Order, the city worked with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to investigate the incident and plan for remediation efforts in the Creek and Cootes Paradise. The City then submit workplans to the MECP that defined remediation/mitigation method to offset damage from the spill and the added nutrient loading to Chedoke Creek, Cootes Paradise Marsh and the Western Hamilton Harbour Area. 

RBG reviewed and collaborated with the City of Hamilton on the plans, as well as the watershed plan to provide context, a Water Quality Improvement framework for Chedoke Creek, also critical for guiding additional projects. This includes remediation of additional CSO outflows to Chedoke Creek, necessary for the overall delisting of the Hamilton Harbour Area of Concern. The various spill remediation plans were approved by MECP as of the end of August 2021 with a deadline to complete remediation work by the end of 2022. 

RBG is pleased with the approved plan and the focus being placed on both remediation of Chedoke Creek watershed as well as the CSO four-year spill. RBG is also pleased with the new online reporting of CSOs, and look forward to the addition of the information of CSOs yet to be added to the monitoring system. We look forward to the next steps in remediation and fully support the City of Hamilton in implementing these solutions to the long-term health effects of Cootes Paradise and the overall watershed. 

RBG will be working collaboratively with the City of Hamilton to facilitate onsite short-term spill remediation activities, including localized targeted dredge works, and temporary floating wetlands to remove a portion of the total spill affecting lower Chedoke Creek, and Cootes Paradise Marsh. 

To learn more about remediation efforts in Chedoke Creek visit hamilton.ca/ChedokeCreek 

Conservation at RBG

It is our mandate and challenge to protect these lands as an ecological legacy for future generations by balancing the needs of wildlife with more than +400,000 visitors who walk our trails each year.

RBG’s conservation efforts occur in forest, wetland and prairie habitats and range from species at risk inventories to invasive alien species management.