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article imageRaw Sewage Flows Into Halifax Harbour

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By Bob Ewing     Jan 16, 2009 in Environment
The new treatment plant on the Halifax water front has been shut down indefinitely as engineers look for the malfunction that allows raw sewage to flow into the harbour.
It was during a series of power failures that the malfunction allowing raw sewage to flow into the Halifax harbour, happened.
Engineers are on the job, looking for the cause, and the plant is closed indefinitely. this means that once again raw sewage is flowing into the Halifax harbour.
The problem began during a series of power failures. It may take some time before the plant is operational again.
"It will be shut down for an extended period of time. It will have to be determined what exactly failed," James Campbell, spokesman for the $332-million Halifax Harbour Solutions project. said.
David Hendsbee, deputy mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality said. "It's a new plant. Theoretically, it shouldn't have happened."
Officials told Hendsbee the power failures triggered the plant's backup generators, but something went wrong when the power came back on.
"There was a surge or something and it blew out the system. The sewage kept coming in. The chambers filled up and flooded the facility," he said.
"Now they have to pump it out, clean it out and dry it out. Then check the equipment. We may have electrical issues. There may be circuits, components that need to be replaced."
The malfunction occurred less than a month after the municipality took ownership of the plant from the builders.
Municipal officials,for months, had refused to take the plant over, claiming there were problems with the system, particularly in backups and odour.
Part of the ongoing investigation will be to determine if any of the earlier problems were responsible for this week's malfunction and, at least, the plant is under a three-year warranty.
Halifax regional council will meet next week behind closed doors to discuss the malfunction.
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