Jacques Barbeau championed this Motion at a City Council Meeting on the 4th of November 2014.  The Motion was passed unanimously, with slight amendments.   The City of Sudbury is demonstrating transparency and placing public health and safety first when it comes to sewage bypass events.  The City will adopt the model used by the City of Kingston, where city residents are notified of a sewage bypass event shortly after it occurs.   A big thank you to Jacques Barbeau and the City of Sudbury!!

Consideration of a Sewage Bypass Alert

WHEREAS the City’s wastewater infrastructure includes 13 wastewater systems, 10 wastewater treatment plants, 4 sewage treatment lagoons, 68 lift stations and 793 km of sewers that can release partially treated and untreated effluent into the City of Greater Sudbury’s lakes and rivers during malfunctions and/or heavy rain events;

AND WHEREAS extreme rain events, along with illegal downspout hookups, and extraneous inflow and infiltration of stormwater have placed increasing pressure on Sudbury wastewater treatment facilities to fully treat effluent before it is released into the environment, and can result in bypasses and overflows to occur;

AND WHEREAS sewage bypass and overflow events can contaminate receiving lake and river water quality and place the health and safety of those who have private water intakes and/or use it for recreation at risk;

AND WHEREAS the City of Sudbury Water/Wastewater services are actively working to remediate illegal downspout hookups and extraneous inflow and infiltration of stormwater;

AND WHEREAS there must be measures in place to notify the public when bypass and overflow events occur;

AND WHEREAS the City of Greater Sudbury places public health and safety as one of its highest priorities;

AND WHEREAS we have committed to maintaining honest and open communication, and creating a climate of trust and innovation;

AND WHEREAS the City of Kingston and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change have already developed an effective working sewage action alert model to follow;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the City of Greater Sudbury implement a Sewage Action Alert system, based on the City of Kingston’s model, to alert the public and downstream water users in real time of any potential risk to water quality and/or their health and safety; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT communication of this decision will be made to the Premier, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and also published in the local newspaper/s.

You can read an article about this leading edge decision in the Northern Life here.