Ottawa sewage overflow in 2017 even more than future tunnel could handle

By Darren Major, CBC News Ottawa, December 23, 2017

A year of heavy rainfall led to the release of more than two billion litres of untreated sewage into the Ottawa River this year, far more than even a storage tunnel being constructed to mitigate the problem could have handled.

This year about 2.1 billion litres — enough to fill nearly 850 Olympic-sized swimming pools — was dumped into the river from the City of Ottawa, according to the city's data.

Annual overflow numbers have been decreasing in the last decade, according to Scott Laberge, the city's wastewater collection program manager. But due to an abnormal amount of rainfall, this year's overflow numbers increased dramatically, he said.

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