Government of Canada

Government of Canada
City of Hamilton

City of Hamilton
Government of Ontario

Government of Ontario

June 26, 2013 10:51 ET

Major Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements Help Clean Up Hamilton Harbour

HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 26, 2013) - Hamilton residents and visitors will now enjoy a cleaner, more natural harbour, thanks to the completion of important improvements to Hamilton's wastewater treatment infrastructure, including the naturalization of the Windermere Basin. Representatives from the governments of Canada and Ontario, and the City of Hamilton gathered today to celebrate this important milestone, which contributes to Hamilton Harbour remediation efforts.

"The improved wastewater treatment system and Windermere basin are major achievements in support of the ongoing clean-up of Hamilton Harbour," said the Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of Environment. "Our government is proud to have invested in cleaning efforts that will help the environment, improve quality of life for Hamilton residents and that has created jobs.

"Investing in local infrastructure renewal will build stronger communities and improve Hamilton residents' daily lives," said the Honourable Jeff Leal, Minister of Rural Affairs for Ontario. "The Wastewater Treatment and Windermere Basin projects demonstrate the Ontario government's ongoing commitment to work with our federal and municipal partners to address the province's infrastructure priorities."

"This program of work represents a large-scale project that we could not have completed without the generous support from our federal and provincial partners," said Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina. "The Windermere Basin project resulted in the unique creation of new wetland space providing much needed habitat for fish and wildlife. All of these efforts contribute to our local goals for the remediation of Hamilton Harbour."

The project will enhance the quality of life for visitors and residents in the City of Hamilton and contribute to public health improvements and the protection of the environment. The positive results of this work will also help remove Hamilton Harbour from the Area of Concern list under the Canada – U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

The project had three components that will contribute significantly to Hamilton Harbour's clean up. First, improvements were made to the Dundas Wastewater Treatment Plant's disinfection system to ensure the removal of chlorine in the plant's effluent. Second, new systems were put in place to control the flow of sanitary sewage and stormwater to reduce untreated discharge into Hamilton's Harbour. Finally, the naturalization of the Windermere Basin - the water body that receives wastewater effluent from the Woodward treatment plant on its way to Hamilton Harbour - has transformed an open body of water with limited natural value into a 13 hectare healthy Great Lakes coastal wetland.

The Government of Canada contributed $35 million toward this project through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, the Government of Ontario contributed $15 million, with the City of Hamilton providing the balance of the funding toward the $80 million project.

Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013 is delivering a New Building Canada Plan to build roads, bridges, subways, commuter rail, and other public infrastructure in cooperation with provinces, territories, and municipalities. Thanks to the Government of Canada's leadership and our strong economic and financial fundamentals, the Canadian economy has recovered from the global recession better than most other industrialized countries. Canada has been a leader among G-7 countries throughout the recovery with more than 1,000,000 net new jobs created since July 2009. The New Building Canada Plan, combined with other federal infrastructure investments, will support Canada's infrastructure advantage, a key enabler of economic growth and job creation.

These investments support Building Together, the Province of Ontario's long-term infrastructure plan to repair, rebuild and renew the province's roads and highways, bridges, public transit, schools and postsecondary institutions, hospitals and courthouses. Since 2003, Ontario has invested approximately $85 billion in infrastructure. Building modern, efficient infrastructure has created or preserved close to 100,000 jobs each year, on average, making Ontario's economy more productive and improving quality of life, now and in the future.

For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure and to stay up-to-date with Web feeds, visit Infrastructure Canada's web site.

For more information on how Ontario is revitalizing its infrastructure, visit the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure web site.

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Major Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements Help Clean Up Hamilton Harbour

Disinfection Upgrade to the Dundas Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Dundas Wastewater Treatment Plant now benefits from new, modern chlorination and de-chlorination systems. This leading-edge disinfection system will ensure the chlorine used to treat physical, chemical and biological contaminants in wastewater is not carried back into the local ecosystem through treated water. The de-chlorination treatment stage also provides an additional environmental protection.

The upgrade of the plant's disinfection system now provides greater operational flexibility and reliability at this step in the treatment process. In addition, a new building was constructed to house state-of-the-art power and control systems, chlorination and de-chlorination equipment, and storage space for chemicals.

The total cost of this project component is $2.4 million.

Combined Sewer Overflow Control Systems

This project now provides Hamilton with new combined sewer overflow systems as well as a primary clarifier upgrade at the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant. The combined sewer overflow systems function as wastewater collection systems that increases the conveyance of sanitary sewage to a treatment facility during wet weather. The primary clarifier upgrade also involves a sedimentation process that removes oil, grease and solids to produce a cleaner effluent.

Four key sites received various combined sewer control upgrades, ranging from installation of new monitoring equipment to implementing a new underground gate to better manage wastewater flow. This new equipment is used to monitor and sense the status of sewer conveyance, allowing for more effective use of existing pipe capacity. Larger quantities of wastewater will now go to the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant for treatment.

Upgrades to the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant will help reduce diversion of untreated wastewater that collects in the Harbour during wet weather. The plant's new primary clarifiers provide additional primary treatment capacity to handle increased volumes of wet weather flow delivered by the upstream conveyance network of pipes and controls.

The total cost of this project component is $57 million.

Enhancement of the Windermere Basin

The Windermere Basin is located in the east end of Hamilton Harbour, at the mouth of Red Hill Creek. Over the years, its ecosystem had been significantly altered and impacted by human activities.

This project transformed the degraded body of water, with limited diversity, into 13 hectares of healthy, diverse Great Lakes coastal wetland that will assist in the delisting of Hamilton Harbour as an Area of Concern under the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

The improvement plan involved creating a wetland and constructing hydraulic controls, a fish way, a power building, islands, containment dikes, and local landscaping.

Overall, this project helped create a new aquatic habitat not commonly seen on this scale. The environmental benefits will also support increased populations of healthier aquatic and bird species that live in the cleaned up Windermere basin.

The basin also enhances the landscape in an industrialized zone located in Hamilton's east end and will provide social benefits to city residents.

The total cost of this project component is $20.6 million.

Contact Information

  • Marie-Josee Paquette, Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
    Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of
    Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister
    of Intergovernmental Affairs
    613-991-0700 /

    Damien O'Brien
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Rural Affairs for Ontario

    Kelly Anderson
    Public Affairs Coordinator
    City of Hamilton
    905-546-2424, ext. 1430

    Infrastructure Canada
    613-960-9251 or toll-free 1-877-250-7154