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Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

Niagara River Remedial Action Plan Stage 2 Update Report

2.2 Review of the

2.2 Review of the Recommendations and Implementation Activities by Theme Categories 2.2.1 Water Quality – Municipal 1995 Recommendations: #1: The Niagara River RAP become involved in Infrastructure Needs Studies (INS). #2: Enforce the Regional Sewer Use By-Law (By-Law #3308) #3: The Region of Niagara continue to work towards implementing a water pollution control plant optimization program for all its plants. #4: Enforce the MISA Municipal Program for Municipal Sewage Treatment Plants upon the promulgation of the MISA Municipal Regulation. Recommendations #1 - #4 in the Stage 2 report were developed to address the RAP goal of: “Reduction and virtual elimination of Combined Sewer Overflows” (see Appendix 7). Note: The latest version of the Regional Sewer Use By-Law (#47-2008) contains mainly corrections of clerical errors. No new limits were introduced. #5: Landfills continue to be monitored regularly, as determined by monitoring. In the Stage 2 report, “this Recommendation calls for annual reporting for all five sites unless monitoring results warrant less frequent reporting…”. The five sites included Atlas Landfill in Welland, Cytec Landfills (Welland and Niagara Falls), Bridge Street Landfill in Fort Erie and the CNR Landfill in Niagara Falls. In 1992, detailed studies concluded that the five landfill sites were not sources of contaminants to the Niagara River and consequently were not a RAP issue. Four of the five sites are now closed. Should offsite contamination be detected at any point in the future, it will be addressed through Provincial abatement programs. The Bridge Street Landfill in the Town of Fort Erie is still an active municipal site, subject to monitoring and annual reporting through the MOE Certificates of Approval. In the Implementation Annex, the Glanbrook Landfill Site was flagged as a concern, although it was not one of the five landfills addressed by the RAP. The leachate from the site enters the City of Hamilton sewer system which discharges into the Hamilton Harbour AOC and thus is outside of the Niagara River AOCs scope. Status of progress for Implementation activities: A) Implementation activity: Request that the Niagara Region provide an annual report of Wastewater Plant Monitoring, Pollution Control Plant Optimization and Water and Wastewater Projects completed in the Niagara River AOC. Niagara Region Water & Wastewater projects identified in the Stage 2 report have been completed and an update on their status is provided in Appendix 8. Additional projects impacting municipal wastewater quality completed or underway by Niagara Region is also provided in Appendix 7. 16

Niagara river remedial action plan stage 2 update 2.2.1.1 Pollution Prevention and Control Planning One of the priority issues for the Niagara River RAP is the impact from combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the watershed. In the Niagara River AOC, there are approximately 40 municipal combined sewer and/or storm outlets, with approximately 22 of these within the Welland River watershed upstream of the power canal. 25 In the fall of 2000, the Niagara Region initiated an update of their 10- year (1995 – 2004) Water and Wastewater Master Servicing Plan 26 . The prime purpose of the report and associated studies was to develop a capital works program for the period of 2003 – 2012, together with a long-term vision for the water and wastewater systems. One of the specific conclusions of the study is that “combined sewer overflow is a major issue to be addressed throughout the region, if the Region and area municipalities are to support environmental enhancement.” Also, one of the key recommendations is that “addressing Combined Sewer Overflows represents one of the most pressing needs in the region……..” CSOs are identified in the Stage 1 Reports as a priority concern. The MOE CSO Control Procedure F 5-5 requires an examination of non-structural and structural CSO control alternatives including source control; inflow/infiltration reduction; operation and maintenance improvements; control and collection structure improvements; storage and treatment strategies; and, sewer separation. 27 Municipalities are obliged to report to the MOE under F 5-5 on progress on their CSO improvements. All municipalities within Areas of Concern have completed Pollution Control Plan (PCP) studies to address a variety of issues. In the Niagara River AOC, PCP studies have been completed in Fort Erie (1990), Niagara-on-the-Lake (1990), Niagara Falls (1996) and Welland (2001). All of these studies What is a Combined Sewer Overflow? The older parts of many Canadian municipalities are served by combined sewers, which in dry weather collect wastewater and transport it directly to a wastewater treatment plant. However, in wet weather, inflows of stormwater or snowmelt can exceed the hydraulic capacity of the collection system. The excess flow is released as combined sewer overflows, in order to prevent basement flooding and damage to downstream pumping and treatment facilities. Even though construction of new combined sewer systems was abandoned about a half century ago, the environmental problems associated with CSOs from these systems persist to this day. The Great Lakes region has been impacted by CSO discharges resulting in beach closures as well as impacts on water, sediment and aesthetic quality. 30 Increasingly, municipal wastewater authorities in the Great Lakes region and throughout Canada are exploring new and innovative treatment technologies specifically designed for CSO. 31 30 Water Quality Research Journal of Canada, 2004. Volume 39, No. 4, 439 – 448. 31 National Water Research Institute & Great Lakes Sustainability Fund. Combined Sewer Overflow Treatment Technologies Manual. 25 Mackay, Scott. April 27, 2005. Background Information, Technical Review and Proposals for Alteration of Impairment Status and/or Delisting Criteria. Eutrophication and Undesirable Algae. 26 Regional Municipality of Niagara. Water and Wastewater Master Servicing Plan Update (2003). 27 R.V.Anderson Associates Ltd. In association with XCG Consultants Ltd. June 2001. City of Welland – CSO Study Environmental Assessment – Phase 2 Report. 28 Procedure F 5-5 is a supporting document for Guideline F-5: “Levels of Treatment for Municipal and Private Sewage Treatment Works Discharging to Surface Waters.” 17

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