Ontario investing in Great Lakes water quality

Jul 20, 2015

Ontario's Niagara Region is joining an array of governments on both sides of the border trying to ease overloaded sewer systems from overflowing into waterways and into the Great Lakes.

The region just started construction of a large new $44 million treatment plant in Niagara-on-the-Lake, along with new pumping stations and a new outfall into Lake Ontario.

"We're very worried about the lakes and that's our primary concern," said Regional Chair Alan Caslin

"Safety and health is our primary concern, making sure that we do everything in our power to ensure that anything that goes into the lakes is completely compatible with, not only the wildlife, but human consumption as well."

Swimmers on both sides of the border are familiar with the issue because overflows can force beaches to shut, one of the reasons Erie County is working on a major treatment plant for Rush Creek in Hamburg. The Buffalo Sewer Authority may eventually spend $500 million on its program to stop overflows and the Town of Tonawanda has spent $60 million on its work to separate storm water and sewage to stop overloading the town treatment plant and overflowing.