Hamilton uncovers another decades-old leak dumping sewage into Lake Ontario

HAMILTON — The City of Hamilton says it has uncovered another sewage leak that has been dumping waste into Lake Ontario for more than two decades.

The revelation comes after the city reported in November that a leak discovered to be from 1996 had dumped 337 million litres of sewage into the Hamilton harbour in the 26 years it went undetected.

The city says it confirmed the latest leak – also believed to present since 1996 – on Monday following an investigation into the previous leak.

It says the investigation shows as many as 11 residential properties have been discharging wastewater into the local harbour since 1996, when a 100-year-old combined sewer pipe was connected to a newly constructed storm sewer.

The city says staff are not currently aware of how much sewage has been dumped into the harbour since then, but pledge to report the number when an assessment is complete.

The city says the latest leak was found as part of a pilot program that inspects areas of the sewer system where the same cross connections responsible for the leak uncovered in November could be present.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2023.

The Canadian Press