The Ontario government is investing $25 million to build, upgrade and rehabilitate storm and wastewater infrastructure.
“We know that critical storm and wastewater infrastructure in many municipalities are under pressure,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “This is why our government is making this crucial and much-needed investment to build the storm and wastewater infrastructure necessary to ensure cleaner water and tackle the pollution and toxic overflows facing many communities across the province.”
This investment includes dedicating $15 million to improve the aging and outdated storm and wastewater infrastructure in 18 municipalities. This will help modernize water management in these areas to make them more efficient and reliable, to ensure Ontarians can continue to access safe and clean water today and for generations to come. Municipalities can use this funding to build storm and wastewater infrastructure, upgrade sewers and pumping stations and clean out debris from stormwater management ponds.
“This is very welcome news for the Hamilton area and demonstrates our government’s commitment to protecting Ontario’s Great Lakes, local waterways, and communities from pollution and toxic overflows,” said Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook. “Funding for the City of Hamilton, coupled with a strong proposal for monitoring and reporting of sewage overflows will support the improved municipal management of storm and wastewater our community deserves.”
Wastewater and stormwater from urban areas can add pollutants, such as phosphorus to lakes and rivers, resulting in negative impacts on water quality and causing harmful algal blooms. In 2020, 597 tonnes of phosphorus were discharged into Lake Ontario by sewage treatment plants, with over 80 per cent of this discharge in the western part of Lake Ontario.
“Improving wastewater infrastructure is an essential part of maintaining healthy and safe communities,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “Investing in these projects will help manage stormwater runoff, sewage overflows, and reduce contaminants from entering our waterways. It’s one of the many ways our government is providing greater environmental protection, while building cleaner, more sustainable infrastructure.”
In addition, the government is investing $10 million to help 20 municipalities upgrade sewage monitoring and public reporting capacity, as well as launching a public consultation and releasing a draft guidance document to improve wastewater and stormwater management and water conservation in Ontario. The province is also seeking input on a proposed subwatershed planning guide to help municipalities and other planning authorities with land use and infrastructure planning.
“I’d like to thank the provincial government for their investment today and for their ongoing commitment to clean water management that will protect our environment now and into the future,” said Fred Eisenberger, Mayor of Hamilton. “This investment will improve the quality of life for residents and also lead to a cleaner future for all. I look forward to continuing to work together and explore ways to build and sustain clean water solutions and infrastructure.”
Featured image: (Hamilton Great Lakes Trail)