Update – Clean up on west campus

December 23, 2019 (3:00 p.m.)

Testing results of water samples taken before the clean up was completed have now been received.  The test results show no levels exceeded the City of Hamilton Sewer Use By-law for storm sewer discharge.

The testing was done by the City of Hamilton Public Works, Hamilton Water Unit.

Additional testing is being done on samples taken after the clean up was completed.

More details can be found in the original story below.

December 15, 2019 (11:30 a.m.)

A spill on west campus that was brought to the university’s attention on Friday afternoon has now been cleaned up.

Crews worked Friday night and much of Saturday to make sure that any sewage from the spill was removed and that the area and the pipes were properly cleaned. The outflow of the creek was vacuumed and sewer lines were flushed.  A camera was sent down in the sewers and all of the lines were clear.

The leak happened when a pump stopped working on west campus. Repair work to the pump will continue over the weekend.

Additional information can be found in the original story below.

Clean up of spill on west campus      

December 14, 2019 (2:30 p.m.)

Crews were brought in Friday evening to begin the clean up of a spill from a sewer line.  The university was notified by the city after a neighbouring resident out walking noticed some dark water in the creek that runs along the far, west side of campus.  A city of Hamilton water inspector contacted McMaster Friday afternoon and facility services and health and safety experts from McMaster immediately began a clean up and investigation.  McMaster also contacted the provincial and federal ministries of environment, the Hamilton Conservation Authority and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

“When we realized some sewage had leaked we called in outside experts to begin a clean up and also checked the systems to find the cause,” said Roger Couldrey, McMaster’s vice-president, Administration. “A pump in the lower area of campus had failed and sewage leaked out of the system.”

Crews were back on the scene Saturday morning to continue the clean up of the storm sewer system. The discharge line going into the creek has been cleaned and inspections are being done to make sure no waste is located in the pipe.

“As soon as the leak was identified we shut down the system,” said Couldrey.  “Only a small part of the west part of campus was involved.”  Until the pumping system is fully operational other methods will be put in place to deal with the sewage from that section of campus.  Those measures will not disrupt activities on campus.

It’s not yet known when the leak began.  Water testing will be done to ensure the clean up is complete.

“We are grateful that an alert citizen noticed something was wrong and contacted the right authorities.  It’s an area of campus that isn’t used by a lot of people,” added Couldrey.

Updates will be provided when more information is known.