Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Jan. 20


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney




(Posted 6:30 p.m., April 7)
Feds, province commit funds for final phase of Ottawa River Action Plan
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, sporting a pair of crutches, is joined by Ottawa-Orléans MP Royal Galipeau and Nepean-Carleton MP and federal Minister of Employment Pierre Poilievre for today's Ottawa River Action Plan announcement. Fred Sherwi/Photo

The federal government and the province of Ontario are ready to hand over $124 million to the City of Ottawa in order to implement the final and most costly phase of the Ottawa River Action Plan.

The investment represents a little over half of the estimated cost of the $231 million project, with the rest of the money coming from the City of Ottawa in the form of additional debt.

The Ottawa River Action Plan was developed in response to sewage outflows to the river that occur after a heavy rain event. Their were 29 such events in 2014, down considerably from the year previous when they were 179 overflow events and 2013 when there were 142 events.

The plan was adopted by Ottawa city council in 2009 and includes 17 different projects, six of which have already been completed, including real time controls on the city's stormwater management system which has reduced outflows by 80 per cent. Another 10 projects are ongoing and the final project is the construction of two large holding tanks under the downtown core.

The tanks are actually two large tunnels. One will be run east west from Stanley Park to Lebreton Flats, and the other will be built under Kent Street from Chamberlain Street to Chamberlain Street. The Kent Street tank will be built under the light rail tunnel were the two intersect.

The storage system is only the second of its kind in Canada. Toronto uses a single large tank to control collector sewer overflows.

More than 800 communities in North America use a collector sewer system in which stormwater and santitary sewage is collected in the same sewer pipe.

Issues occur when a heavy rain event overwhelm the sewer system creating an overcapacity which overflows into the local waterway.

Washington D.C. is building a deep underground storage tank and other improvements to its sewer system at a cost of $2.1 billion, and Boston built a tunnel system similar to what Ottawa is planning, at a cost of $850 million.

The total cost of the Ottawa River Action Plan, including the work in progress, is $381.3 million.

The project should drastically reduce the number of beach closures at Petrie Island, but it won't do anything to improve water quality at Mooney's Bay, which is effected by runoff into the Rideau River, or Britannia Beach and Westboro Beach, which are impacted by runoff fuirther up the Ottawa River and its tributaries.

Tuesday's announcement also does nothing to limit collected sewer outflows on the Quebec side. The official line from Gatineau city hall is that they are currently meeting provincial guidelines for collected sewage outflows. However, they have yet to install even a single monitoring device.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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