Contaminated soil found in major Hamilton water reservoir


Published November 4, 2020 at 4:17 pm

According to the City of Hamilton, a “large amount” of contaminated soil was found at the Kenilworth Water Reservoir during routine maintenance work.

The City’s General Issues Committee received the report and a presentation from staff Wednesday.

Despite high levels of benzo(a)pyren — a type of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) found in coal tar, tobacco smoke, and many foods (like grilled meats) — the City says there are “no water quality or public health impacts related to the contaminated soil.”

At least half of the soil in the reservoir contains various levels of PAH, according to the City.

The contaminated soil was reportedly found by a contractor during construction earlier this year when Hamilton Water began a planned $6.4 million capital rehabilitation and upgrade project at the Kenilworth Reservoir — which is one of the City’s primary water assets and feeds drinking water to many homes on the Hamilton Mountain.

“The reservoir was constructed in 1964, which is during an era where soil management was not top of mind for construction teams,” said the City of Hamilton in an official media release.

The City says it has notified the Ministry of the Environment about the contaminated soil.


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