PE Ledger

Wastewater release prompts caution not to swim in Charlottetown harbour

PEI

Key takeaways: 

  • Six thousand cubic meters of wastewater, sufficient to load 2½ Olympic-size swimming pools, was released.
  • An official with the Charlottetown Water and Sewer Utility says people should avoid contact with the water till Wednesday. 

People are being requested not to swim around Charlottetown’s harbour after 6,000 cubic meters of wastewater was discharged while units were doing emergency restorations Sunday.

The release took place for almost 5½ hours while the repairs were happening. 

The quantity of wastewater could load 2½ Olympic-size swimming pools. However, officials said that’s not much compared to the volume of water already in the harbor and that it’s been fast diluted. Still, the city has alerted people to avoid contact with the water till Wednesday.

“We had a contractor who accidentally shot a sewer force main and prompted a hole in the sewer force main, so we ought to make repairs,” stated Richard MacEwen, manager of Charlottetown Water and Sewer Utility.

“We had to control flow in that pipe, and it’s one of the main pipes that send sewer to the wastewater treatment plant. We have some storage at our sewer lift stations that provide into that pipe. But once that storage is surpassed, the water has no other place to go but out into the harbor.”

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People are being requested not to swim around Charlottetown’s harbour after 6,000 cubic meters of wastewater was discharged while units were doing emergency restorations Sunday

The city stated that those who come into contact with the water should clean their hands before they eat or consume.

MacEwen said the wastewater is usually distributed to the harbor, although more so about the Charlottetown Yacht Club.

He said the happening is under consideration by the city.

“We’ve done lots of work in the city to minimize the threat,” MacEwen said.

“It could happen during the springtime when we have a serious rainfall mixed with a snowfall event.” 

Source – CBC News

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