Guelph to clean up construction site where drums were found

Specialized contractor to remove drums and debris in construction zone

Guelph, ON, April 13, 2015 – The City has hired a qualified remediation contractor to remove buried materials from the construction site where crews found eight drums of chemicals last September. Cleanup activities are scheduled to start in May and will take two to three weeks to complete.

Last fall, the City removed the drums, the liquid they contained and the affected soil. Then the City conducted detailed geophysical scans and analyzed the remaining soil to determine the best way to remove any additional buried materials from the construction area.

Both the site examination report and the City’s Remediation Action Plan have been reviewed by the  Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). The MOECC will also review the spill response plan before work begins on the site.

“Crews will take all necessary precautions to avoid further leakage as buried materials and affected soil are removed, contained and transported for safe disposal,” said Kealy Dedman, City Engineer. “It is hard to say how long it may take, but we’re planning to start cleanup activities in May and then resume construction of the watermain.”

The City’s action plan requires any additional drums and other debris to be carefully removed from the construction zone. The plan also includes erosion and dust control measures, ground and surface water management activities, spill response protocols and contingency plans, and a site-specific health and safety plan.

After removing buried materials along the project route, the contractor will install a fabric liner. The watermain will be placed on top of the liner and the area will be filled using clean soil.

The City will advise area residents before any activity resumes on the site. Anyone who experiences odours or sees a spill during the work can call the MOECC Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.

While construction of this section was paused, crews continued working on other parts of the Paisley-Clythe watermain project. The completion time for the entire project has not changed significantly, and updates on the City’s progress are posted at guelph.ca/construction.

Discovering the drums

On September 2 and 3, eight 170-litre (45-gallon) drums of chemicals were found on a construction site near the Wellington/Hanlon interchange. The City contained the liquid and affected soil immediately and notified the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). The City used clean soil to back fill the area. The liquid was transported from the site for disposal on September 5 and affected soil was transported for disposal on September 9 and 10.

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Media contact

Stacey Hare, Senior Communications Officer
Corporate Communications
519-822-1260  extension 2611
stacey.hare@guelph.ca