On February 8th, we were joined by City of Hamilton staff to talk about water management in Hamilton, and specific actions the City takes, and that we can take to improve the health of our communities and watersheds. In this blog, we will briefly recap some of the main topics and resources that were shared.
Who did we hear from?
Tim Crowley works as a Project Manager in the newly formed Watershed Management section within the Hamilton Water Division at the City of Hamilton. Responsibilities include the remediation of Chedoke Creek, Government Funding Administration, Academic Partnership Programming, Woodward Community Liaison Committee Lead and supporting the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan.
Dave Alberton works as Manager of Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection within the Hamilton Water Division at the City of Hamilton. Dave has over 17 years experience in progressive executive leadership roles within the field of water, wastewater and stormwater. In Dave’s role, he is accountable for the Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection section for the tenth largest Municipality in Canada.
Monir Moniruzzaman works as Senior Project Manager of Infrastructure Planning within the Growth Management Division of Planning and Economic Development at the City of Hamilton. Monir is a Professional Engineer and an active member of the Municipal Engineers Association of Ontario. Monir has over 15 years experience in stormwater management and other Municipal engineering. He is responsible to review and approve growth related private and public stormwater maintenance system infrastructure in the City.
Sewer Systems and Wastewater Overflows
Combined vs Separated Sewers – The video below describes Hamilton’s two types of sewer systems, and what happens with the combined sewer system during extreme wet weather.
Want to see what type of sewer system services your home? You can visit map.hamilton.ca and choose ‘Water & Wastewater’. A GIS map will open – Zoom in on your neighbourhood until you can see coloured lines and symbols. Open up the Legend or Layer List (first two icons along the bottom of the map) to see sewer types and follow their pathways around the city!
TIP: To simplify the map, you can open the Layer List, and uncheck all layers except ‘Sewer Layers’.
You can also track Combined Sewer Overflows and Bypasses online. The City has a live reporting map that provides real-time data to the public 24/7, as well as archived data from previous years. In Spring 2020, the City also began sharing information about overflow events at combined sewer overflow outfall locations.
Sewer Lateral Cross Connections – Sometimes, a home’s sanitary pipe or internal plumbing can be mistakenly connected to its stormwater pipe and vice versa. This can both allow harmful waste to pollute waterways, and overburden the sanitary sewer system with stormwater. The city is working to identify and correct these mistakes through the Sewer Lateral Cross-Connection program, and has repaired 422 to date.
Simple ways to keep our waterways clean
- Purchase non-toxic alternatives to harsh chemicals
- Return expired or unused medications to your pharmacy
- Properly dispose of products (paints, solvents, etc.)
- Pick up after your pets
- If you wash your car at home, do it on a grassy area if possible
- Do not over apply lawn and garden products
- Do not hose off sidewalks or driveways
- Do not drain swimming pool/hot tub water into a storm sewer
- Use rain barrels or disconnect your homes downspouts
City of Hamilton Water Management and Outreach Programs
Own Your Throne – Learn what should and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet to help avoid damage to your neighbourhood’s pipes!
Beware the Berg – Learn about the impacts fats, oils, and grease can have when they’re rinsed down the drain, misconceptions, and the simple way to avoid backed up pipes and other unwanted outcomes!
What is the City doing to help residents decrease flood risk at home?
- Protective Plumbing Program
- Backwater Valve Maintenance Program
- Sewer Lateral Management
- Invasive Species Monitoring
- Watercourse Clean-Ups of litter and illegally dumped items
Lot-Level Stormwater Control Practices in Hamilton
- Rainwater harvesting
- Green roofs
- Soakaway Pits/ Rain garden
- Perforated CB and sewer
- Bioretention Cells
- Compost amendments
- Tree clusters
- Vegetative filter strips
- Permeable Pavement
- Enhanced Grass channels/swales
- Dry swales
- Open bottom underground Storage tank
- Depressed area or dry pond with filter media at the bottom
- Infiltration trench
Learn more and see some examples here!