City launches sewage overflow into Cataraqui River  | The Kingston Sewage Hole

Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson watches Utilities Kingston President and CEO Jim Keech at the King Street Water Filtration Plant. (Ian MacAlpine/The Whig-Standard)
Now that the warmer weather is pretty well here, citizens will soon be heading out to Kingston’s waterfront to perhaps swim, paddle or fish.
But seeing raw sewage floating on the water’s surface would be enough to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm for water use.
The City of Kingston and Utilities Kingston have come up with a way to warn residents in real time when the water may not be so safe and enjoyable because of higher pollution levels.
Sewage in the water is usually seen within 48 hours after the city pumps sewage from its combined sewer system into Lake Ontario. This usually occurs after a heavy rainstorm when the city can’t treat the high volume of untreated water in its system. It gets rids of the water by pumping it into the lake.
Earlier this month, between May 4 and 8, Utilities Kingston bypassed almost 80,000 cubic metres of wastewater into the river. The sewage dump into the river followed another sewage bypass of 67,685 cubic metres that went into the river on May 1 and 2.
That’s enough sewage to fill 27 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
From April 4-6, also due to heavy rain, the utility dumped just over 214,000 cubic metres into the river.
So far this year, the utility has put just over 364,000 cubic metres of sewage combined with storm water into the river, more than three times more than it dumped in all of 2016.


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