Monday, 17 September 2012

Last Saturday's Workshop: The Recap

This past Saturday Pipewatch held its second workshop in the Quigley/Greenhill area. Taking the same route that was trekked a few days earlier, a new batch of volunteers were trained to identify outfalls within the area. Here's what we found: 

This is DCT-16. It's located about 50m north of Greenhill Avenue, just west of the large condo complex at the Quigley and Greenhill intersection. In 2002, it was recorded as having E.coli counts of 338,000 (/100ml) - which far exceeds the city by-law limit of 2,400 counts (/100ml), and the province's recreational limit of 1000 counts (/100ml). 

Here's a closer look:

Gross, right? While there was no strong odor, it's clear that the pipe was flowing and had a lot of debris built up on the grate. Volunteers (at both workshops) also noted dark algae at the base of the outfall. Algae (in these conditions) is bad as it helps to remove oxygen from the water supply leaving harsher living conditions for the creek critters and small invertebrates that reside along the creek bed. 

This section of the creek is also home to another outfall, DCT-15, which is located directly beneath the lookout for DCT-16. For a pipewatcher short on time, this location is ideal! 
While DCT-15's discharges have historically been recorded as less concerning than DCT-16's, the total counts of E.coli were above the levels set by both the Hamilton by-law and the province of Ontario. On June 5, 2002 it was recorded to have 27,000 counts (/100ml). On Saturday, the pipe was discharging, there was only a slight smell, and as you can see, there is some debris on the grate. 

The view looking down. 

The view from the other side of the creek (on top of DCT-16). 

Couldn't make either one of the two sessions in this neighbourhood? Don't worry, you haven't missed the boat! Call us up if you're interested (905-549-0900) and we will be more than happy to arrange a time to meet and show you the outfalls in the area. 

Otherwise, the next workshop will take place on Wednesday, September 19th, at 6:30pm. We'll be meeting at the corner of Melvin and Talbot Street (in the McQuesten community). Bring your walking shoes as we'll be walking along some of the Red Hill Trail, crossing the highway (along the sidewalk of course!), and hopping the guardrail to view one of the worst outfall offenders - it should be a doozy! 

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