Monday, April 03, 2006

Waste from your neighbour

Osprey Media. - Brantford Expositor: "City losing patience with upstream neighbours

By Michael-Allan Marion, Expositor Staff
Local News - Monday, April 03, 2006 @ 01:00

Every few months on a particularly rainy day, some little towns upstream find they just can�t hold it anymore. Like little children caught too far from a bathroom, they open the gates and let go their effluent into the Grand River.

Occasionally, the effluent is fully treated by their own plants, often it�s partially treated and sometimes not at all.

It�s not just a naughty indignity to city officials downstream in Brantford. They treat it as a threat to the municipal water supply, since Brantford gets all its drinking water from the river.

City officials have informed the Ministry of the Environment that these incidents happen far too often for their liking, and they want them stopped or at least severely curtailed.

To environmental services staff and the Grand River Spills Action Centre, each incident is called an �effluent bypass,� which usually occurs during a period of high rainfall.

Most occur during the early spring or late autumn, but they can happen at any time of year.

At a certain point, the usually older, unsophisticated sewage treatment system of a small town can�t take the amount of water coming in or the whole system would back up completely, sending raw sewage up people�s toilets, flooding their homes.

So officials release a certain amount and inform the Spills Action Centre, which in turn informs municipalities downstream so they can take action to protect themselves."

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