Quote of the Week: ‘Climate Barbie’ claims sewage leaks will increase due to climate change

From the “McKenna in, sewage out” department comes this just unbelievably stupid claim from Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna via CBC. At issue is old infrastructure, not climate change. h/t to WUWT reader “Cam_S”.

The issue as reported by CBC:

Data provided to The Canadian Press recently showed over one trillion litres of raw sewage leaked into Canadian waterways between 2013 and 2017, including 215 billion litres in 2017 alone — a 10 per cent increase over 2013.

Environment officials attribute most the increase to more systems complying with reporting requirements. However Krystyn Tully, vice-president of the water advocacy organization Swim Drink Fish Canada, says only 159 of the 269 municipal systems that are required to report actually did in 2017.

“The compliance is so bad,” said Tully.

She says the actual amount of leaking raw sewage is probably much higher than what has been reported, given that 110 systems were unaccounted for in the 2017 data alone.

Tully said governments are hard pressed to prioritize the problem if they don’t know how much is actually leaking out of their systems.

But wait! There’s climate change to blame! Never let an opportunity go to waste!

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says the government isn’t specifically looking at ways to improve reporting rates of municipalities but, if there is more to do, the federal government would consider it.

McKenna said Tuesday that climate change is expected to bring about more frequent storms, like the flash flood rainfall in Toronto a week ago that left the harbourfront waters covered in debris from the toilets of millions of Toronto residents.

“This is a real problem,” McKenna said.

Gosh, yes that’s it, climate change! Let’s issue a carbon tax to make the sewage system compliant. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

So you’d think a modern city like Toronto would have completely separate sewage and storm drain systems. Sadly, no, and this news article from last week reports:

Some of the debris Thursday came from downtown Toronto’s old plumbing system, which carries household waste and whatever gets swept through storm drains in the same pipes — pipes that overflowed Tuesday. Modern cities, and some of Toronto’s younger suburbs, are outfitted with separate sewer systems which segregate human waste and storm water, a setup which became standard in the 1950s and ’60s.

But wait! There’s more….MODELS can help gauge the climate change impact!

Most cities only report calculated data based on computer models of how much sewage is expected to leak when a certain amount of rain falls. Kingston, Ont., is the only city Tully is aware of that has monitors in pipes to measure exactly how much leaks and reports that data publicly immediately.

Oh, the uncertainty!


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August 15, 2018 1:05 pm

so…climate change is going to make it worse…..start digging and replacing that plumbing

…or just tax the crap out of everyone and do nothing

Reply to  Latitude
August 15, 2018 1:17 pm

Or send in your claim for compensation to the Paris Climate Administration. If funds are not forthcoming from the U.S. then tack on penalty fees and interest for payment later by the next Progressive occupant of the White House. You may want to proceed quickly because California will be sending its claim for fire damages from drought ahead of your flooding claim.

Bryan A
Reply to  Latitude
August 15, 2018 2:10 pm

If they did tax the crap out of everyone, the Old combo sewers would only be carrying storm waters as the crap would have been removed to pay the Taxes

Reply to  Bryan A
August 15, 2018 2:33 pm

I greatly dislike the “old sewers” for combining storm drains with sewage drains because occasional massive flows did overflow the sewage treatment plants and cause bypass flows of waste into downstream rivers; but those very same very high flow storm surges DID certainly “flush” the accumulated trash and solids out of the sewage pipes to allow the regular low-volume sewage to flow evenly.

One specific cause of the many areas in San Francisco that stink of urine and feces decaying in the sewage pipes is the ultra-low flow toilets forced by the city and CA politicians on their residences. There simply is no longer enough water flowing in the old sewage drain pipe to flush the wastes further down the pipes by gravity. Sure, less water if flushed each time. But then the wastes buildup in the pipes, plug the drain pipes, then decay under the streets. (Of course, the human debris topside that defecates in the streets and alleys is also to blame. But that’s is who the San Francisco population has chosen to welcome on their streets.)

Sam C Cogar
Reply to  RACookPE1978
August 16, 2018 4:13 am

I greatly dislike the “old sewers” for combining storm drains with sewage drains because occasional massive flows did overflow the sewage treatment plants and cause bypass flows of waste into downstream rivers;

In the early days, in pretty much every city, town or village that had a storm or sewer drain system, the storm drain pipes and the sewer drain pipes ….. were one in the same …. and the outflow of those drains terminated in the local stream, river or bay.

To partially solve the “river water pollution” problem they built a sewage treatment plant at a “collection point” of those drain pipes, which worked great except every time there was an extra heavy rainfall.

The solution was extremely expensive and involved separating the storm drains from the sewer drains.

Dave Anderson
Reply to  Sam C Cogar
August 16, 2018 8:10 am

Many American cities have been ordered by the Federal Government to spend $billions to separate their drains and sewer systems. St. Paul Mn. for example. Chicago is spending 10s of $billions to deal with their sewage/run off problems.

Expensive but it can, and should, be done. This is why we institute governments for crying out loud. Not to hire administrators for the city equity departments.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
August 16, 2018 7:59 am

“occasional massive flows did overflow the sewage treatment plants and cause bypass flows of waste into downstream rivers” If only they had sewage treatment plants. Many of these bastions of green do not bother with sewage treatment, instead just dumping raw sewage into water ways. So what difference will “fixing” leaks do. //if your simply dumping it into lakes and rivers?

Cities from coast to coast continue to dump untreated wastewater into oceans, lakes, rivers. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/raw-sewage-common-problem-examples-1.3258594

Reply to  Latitude
August 15, 2018 2:13 pm

Another item on the list from our elected leaders blaming nature for delinquent maintenance/planning.
I suppose climate change is also the cause for urban crowding and homelessness.


Reply to  rocketscientist
August 15, 2018 2:46 pm

…and between 2013 and 2018…Canada’s population increased by 2 million
Did they ramp up the infrastructure to support that?…..of course not

That’s a figure they don’t include in the impact of illegals either………

Reply to  Latitude
August 16, 2018 5:47 am

Our environment minister isn’t called climate barbie without cause. TrueDope gave her the job because she self-identifies as female and there is a 50% quota to be filled.

A man in Calgary self-identified as female to save a bundle on his insurance. Take that GEICO.

Jan E Christoffersen
Reply to  ferdberple
August 16, 2018 9:19 am


The scientific ignorance and overall stupidity of Climate Barbie continues to astonish many Canadians. Add Prime Minister Climate Ken to the mix and the mind boggles to the point of utter, terminal frustration.

Reply to  Latitude
August 16, 2018 10:25 am

If they “tax the *crap* out of everyone”, wouldn’t that just exacerbate the problem? ;-}

Reply to  fxk
August 16, 2018 1:19 pm

Only for Quebec as that is where all our taxes go!

Tom Halla
August 15, 2018 1:14 pm

Another problem that is probably a reporting artifact.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 15, 2018 1:33 pm

If they have 159 reporting and 110 non-reports, they have a long way to go to get to the land of Have-a-Clue. It would be informative to know what the total sewage processing volumetric flow rate is for the 159 vs the 110, but now I’m being all sensible. I’ll stop now.

william Johnston
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
August 15, 2018 3:32 pm

Please stop. Your idea stinks!

John Harmsworth
August 15, 2018 1:14 pm

I am Canadian. I find my federal government to be an embarrassment.

Reply to  John Harmsworth
August 15, 2018 1:27 pm

Canadians are good people, as are Americans, but I too find my government (American) an embarrassment

Ken Mitchell
Reply to  John Harmsworth
August 15, 2018 1:42 pm

All governments are embarrassments. Yours isn’t the worst, or only, offender in this regard.

Reply to  John Harmsworth
August 15, 2018 4:38 pm

I’m a Brit, my government is a bigger embarrassment than yours…so there.

Reply to  saveenergy
August 15, 2018 4:50 pm

I’ll see your embarrassment and raise you by living in the US in California!

Reply to  markl
August 15, 2018 5:55 pm

I’ll raise you the Turnbull mob here in Australia!

Brooks Hurd
Reply to  markl
August 19, 2018 8:31 am

I agree with you that our state government led by Jerry “Cow Fart” Brown is a MAJOR embarrassment.

D. J. Hawkins
August 15, 2018 1:28 pm

I see Kingston, Ontario, has suffered an outbreak of rationality. Say, do they have engineers running the joint or what?!?

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
August 15, 2018 1:45 pm

I’m not a big believer in CAGW, but if a carbon tax would cure stupidity like Climate Barbie’s, I’d be all for it.

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
August 15, 2018 2:06 pm

It needs to be called ‘CO2 tax’ rather than ‘Carbon tax’, blackening the Cinderella gases name like that; damn politicians.
Anyway am going to increase my ‘Hydrogen footprint’ and have a glass of water 😀

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
August 15, 2018 2:23 pm

If more $$ are required to handle systems and infrastructure due to expanding needs, the honest position would be to raise Property Taxes, not obfuscate the cause.

IMHO I would respond better to an argument that we need to upgrade and expand our sewage systems due to increased population demands, than to some dodgy made up excuse.

An old adage: When more than one reason is given for a particular action or decision, rest assured that the real reason was not given.

Reply to  rocketscientist
August 16, 2018 3:27 am

Unfortunately property taxes rise every year and nothing is improved. Why? The increases go to support staff salary increases and their unfunded pension plans.

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
August 16, 2018 6:01 am

A carbon tax will fix the climate in the exact same way that a tax on poor people will solve poverty or a tax on stupidity will make everyone smarter.

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
August 16, 2018 6:11 am

Now that TrueDope has placed a carbon tax on regular gasoline I’ll be sure to switch to “Carbon Free” next time I fill up at PetroCan.

Gasoline for years contained lead. The government made lead in fuels illegal and now we all drive “lead free”. Climate Barbie only needs to make carbon in fuels illegal the same as lead and we can all drive “carbon free”.

When did we create a lead tax to get rid of lead in motor fuelsfuels. If you don’t want carbon makemake it illegal and be done with it.

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  ferdberple
August 16, 2018 9:10 pm

The notion that a carbon tax will help the environment or the climate is just a ruse. Politicians know that carbon taxes will have zero effect on the climate. They push for them because no matter how money much they have, they always spend much more. There is never enough money for politicians.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
August 15, 2018 1:45 pm

Engineers as opposed to politicians? Imagine that!

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
August 15, 2018 4:22 pm

Not quite what you think. They have monitors installed at 15 locations along waterways where they have combined sewer outfalls (CSOs). CSOs are designated outfall locations for sewers to overflow diluted sewage in rain events (7 show as overflowing right now, plus 5 in the past 48 hours https://utilitieskingston.com/Wastewater/SewerOverflow/Map). Engineers would fix the system, not just put in alarms.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 18, 2018 9:09 am

Fair enough, but as every engineer knows, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it.”

August 15, 2018 1:43 pm

Vancouver BC still dump untreated sewage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Any comments Ms. McKenna?

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  JCM1776
August 15, 2018 4:15 pm

You mean Victoria BC.

Robert Maclellan
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 15, 2018 4:42 pm

both actually, and many more. also the 268 number seems very low so many communities are not required to report, or measure, or test regularly

August 15, 2018 1:46 pm

This might be a good time to get a tally of the dates for when each supposedly modern city ended the practice of pumping raw sewage into the ocean. I recall this was a campaign factor in Boston for Micheal Dukakis running for President while courting the Green vote.

August 15, 2018 1:48 pm

Sewage “leaks?” Victoria, BC, has always dumped raw sewage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A treatment plant is under construction, but not scheduled to be on line until 2020 at the earliest. Hope the orcas within the Southern Resident pods can hang on until then. (Victorian’s poop/street runoff contaminants being just some of many challenges the SRKW have.)

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Windsong
August 15, 2018 4:03 pm

Yes, I found this very ironic as well.

Alan Tomalty
August 15, 2018 1:52 pm

I personally spoke to her on Sunday (live on the spot). She is my Member for parliament. I questioned her about her many quotations of more extreme climate events happening in the future when her own department statistics show that there isn’t any more than in the past. Her response was that it is warming in the Arctic(not true) and that “We are working on it” . I have the impression that if I asked her if she had made love to her husband last night her response would be “We are working on it”. She is truly an embarrassment to all of Canada and will only become irrelevant when and if Trudeau loses the next election.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 15, 2018 2:14 pm

She seems to think, if quoted correctly, that it is the reporting rates that are the problem rather than the leaks.

Reply to  Susan
August 15, 2018 6:10 pm

So stop reporting the leaks and the problem is solved. No need for a CO2 tax, either.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 15, 2018 4:47 pm

I think the job is too big for McKenna, she’s in over her head. Besides, even Trudeau admitted that she got the job because she’s female, not necessarily because of her experience or talent.

He said ‘because it’s 2015’, remember?

Alan Davidson
Reply to  Klem
August 16, 2018 4:25 am

McKenna was a social justice lawyer before being elected as the Liberal MP for Ottawa Centre and was instantly appointed to be Minister of Environment & Climate Change. Has no science or climate science background and never gets involved in any Q&A remotely related to climate science. Admitted she had no idea what an IPCC COP was when at Paris 2015 and clearly had no idea what she was signing up for Canada to agree to and still insists Canada will do so even though emissions increase. Has no idea, understanding or interest that Canada is actually a net CO2 sink due to it’s huge forestry area.

Would not be surprised if Liberals lose the next Canada Federal election to Conservatives, must be held by Fall 2019.

Jeff Labute
Reply to  Klem
August 16, 2018 9:47 am

They too will all lose their jobs because soon it will be 2019. Sorry McKenna, we no longer need your services, it is 2019. It would be fitting.

Ben of Houston
August 15, 2018 1:54 pm

Municipalities are the worst when it comes to water compliance. The agencies actually breathe a sigh of relief when they come to audit me because facilities pay enough to keep competent people and we don’t pretend to not speak English when they come by. (I was actually told that by an inspector once).

Cities, on the other hand, are constantly scrimping and saving, delaying or omitting needed maintenance and building digesters that are barely big enough. Then, they overflow at the first sign of rain, giving a wash of untreated sewage to whomever is downstream.

However, measuring sewage leaks is essentially impossible. You have a massive collection network, and most of the leaks occur in the smallest of pipes, and are too small even to disturb the ground above. While you could measure at lift stations once you get to the main line, it’s quite dirty flow. There are few flowmeters that won’t gunk up over time, and then you have the expense problem. Given how little you can do with the numbers, the amount of accuracy problems, and how much has to go unmeasured, and the cost of the flowmeters is just not worth it. Probably, everyone is using a “runtime times pump capacity” calculation on their primary lift stations. Take all of these numbers with a huge grain of salt.

August 15, 2018 2:21 pm

OK class, what causes problems with buried pipes in a freeze thaw climate like Canada’s? Anyone? … OK, it’s frost.

Global warming means the frost doesn’t penetrate as far. If it doesn’t penetrate to the depth of the pipes, there will be no freezing and no frost heaving. Global warming, therefore, leads to less damage to sewer and other pipes, as well as less damage to pavement. Global warming is good for infrastructure. Did I mention less road salt and bridge corrosion? Yep, that too.

Climate Barbie has earned her moniker.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  commieBob
August 15, 2018 4:14 pm

Sewers leak everywhere. It wouldn’t take you long to look up the sewer issues faced by Miami-Dade, City of St. Pete, etc, due to leaky sewers…and they have no freezing or frost heaving. Every sewer system has this issue to some degree.

Stewart Pid
Reply to  commieBob
August 15, 2018 4:24 pm

Bob our Canuck pipes are deep enough that they rarily freeze and therefore not much frost heaving occurs when construction is done right. The depth of freezing is often control by the depth of the snow cover since snow is a good insulator but 6 feet of frozen ground is a rarity ( where most of us live) and 2 to 4 feet of frozen ground is more common.
Climate BArbie is a moron with an International Affairs and French FArt degree prior to getting her lawyer shingle. I get the feeling she avoided science because she sucked at it!!

Reply to  Stewart Pid
August 16, 2018 8:02 am

Occasionally it’s colder and there’s less snow and the frost line goes down to seven feet. link It can be a big problem.

Gunga Din
August 15, 2018 2:49 pm

Never let an opportunity go to waste!

I have to ask.
Was that line intentional? 😎

August 15, 2018 2:58 pm

Just curious, did this McKenna chick’s family make their fortune in the sewage industry? Plumbing contractors, perhaps? Why? Because what she is pushing would make people in those industries even more wealthy than they already are, once Canadian government mandates replacing all sewage plumbing and processing infrastructure. Always follow the money, leftists love to steal it using government mandates which have no basis in fact or reality.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  2hotel9
August 15, 2018 4:11 pm

I’m not sure about Canada, but water and wastewater infrastructure in the US is woefully old and failing. It has been a recognized problem for a few decades now. In many US cities, the boom was just after WWII, and those pipes are in need of replacement. Ungodly cheap water leads to systems which don’t get repaired, rehabilitated, and upgraded as much as they should.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 15, 2018 6:02 pm

Oh, don’t I know it! Been working in construction and remodeling for a LONG time. PVC is not a cure all for problems, it damned sure is an improvement over iron and terracotta. I was just jabbing this ecotard chick, she clearly has no clue about plumbing, or much of anything else. As for cheap water, no, massive amounts of money pissed away on pieces of useless paper and exorbitant union wages does far more harm to infrastructure rehab. Not to mention sweetheart retirement packages for “civil servants”. Lots of reason sh*t don’t get fixed.

Gunga Din
August 15, 2018 3:02 pm

Now wait a minute.
In areas that experience freezing temperatures utilities lines that carry water/wastewater are buried deeper than “the frost line” so they don’t freeze and break.
Global Warming is breaking lines buried below (what should be according to CAGW) a shallower frost line?

Sounds like their just using the excuse du jour for failing to address failing infrastructure.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Gunga Din
August 15, 2018 4:07 pm

Sewer systems leak everywhere, not just areas with frost. It isn’t climate change breaking lines…the assertion is that climate change in increasing or will increase the amount of rainfall during storm events, which is going to increase the amount of rainfall-derive inflow and infiltration into sewers and increase the chances of overflows.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 15, 2018 8:10 pm

And that assertion is DEAD wrong

Michael Jankowski
August 15, 2018 3:32 pm

“…But wait! There’s more….MODELS can help gauge the climate change impact!…”

As someone who does hydraulic modeling of storm and sanitary sewers as part of my professional engineering career, I assure you that you are barking up the wrong tree by mocking them.

The “climate change impact” they are referring to is to increase the rainfall associated with a particular design storm. Depending on the software package, other climate factors can be added that would affect things like snowmelt, evapotranspiration, etc. But that isn’t really referred to here.

The sewer modeling process involves flow monitoring at a number of locations throughout a system, typically for a year or more in order to capture a number of rainfall events and the system response to them (and for sanitary and combined sewers, dry-weather flow quantities and patterns would be captured obviously as well to form the baseline). The model can then be used to predict the response of the current system to a given design rainfall event and identify improvements required to address potential capacity and/or overflow issues associated with such an event.

This is real-world engineering stuff, not climate fantasy games.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 15, 2018 4:44 pm

Real-world, just what are the records rainfall for Vancouver for the past 100 or so years?
Combined sewers can be an issue if you get rain during a drought.
“Barbie” is claiming that “Global Warming” (Man’s CO2) is the issue, not updating and repairing infrastructure.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Gunga Din
August 15, 2018 5:36 pm

You can look up rainfall records yourself. Keep in mind that a design storm is not based on a calendar-day total and not necessarily a 24-hr period at all. You wouldn’t design for a record condition in most locations, anyhow. It’s not economically feasible, and oversized sanitary sewers create issues of their own.

I’m well aware of what “Barbie” is claiming.

August 15, 2018 3:46 pm

Also in today’s news…

Vancouver: Warmer temperatures may mean more beach closures
Climate change may be to blame for beach closures in Metro Vancouver.

Climate change may be the culprit behind the proliferation of E. coli in English Bay that prompted this week’s no-swim advisory for three popular Vancouver beaches, says Deborah Harford, executive director of the Adaptation to Climate Change team at Simon Fraser University.

“Bacteria thrive in warmer temperatures,” said Harford. “This year in particular, temperature records have toppled around the world. We are seeing records being set.”

Harford said the combination of warmer, longer, hotter drier summers, and warmer wetter winters, have long been projected to have health impacts, which include water quality issues, and proliferation of bacteria.

“We’ve been saying for 10 years that climate change is going to affect you, but when it turns into you can’t go swimming, people start to notice,” said Harford.


Gunga Din
Reply to  Cam_S
August 15, 2018 4:09 pm

The implication here is that Vancouver, due to”Global Warming”, is closing beaches because “Global Warming” is causing bacteria to flourish?
Why are beaches in Florida still open? The Carolinas? Bermuda?

Stop wasting our time and spend some money to take care of your wastewater lines.

PS Low record temps have also “toppled”.
PPS Some low and high record temps in the past list of “records” have been “toppled” by higher lows or lower highs in more recent listing of “temperature records”.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Gunga Din
August 15, 2018 5:44 pm

Well we do have beach closures and/or warnings from time-to-time in Florida due to bacteria, and they just so happen to typically be during the warmer months. Right now we have a big algae problem on the Gulf Coast – red tide (which also typically coincides with warmer months) has created a declared state of emergency. It’s kind of a big deal. Obviously you are blissfully unaware.

Paul C
Reply to  Cam_S
August 15, 2018 4:21 pm

As above – Vancouver BC still dump untreated sewage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Any comments Cam_S

Reply to  Paul C
August 16, 2018 8:40 am

Paul C! You are probably thinking of Victoria BC. Their sewage goes into the salt water, untreated. Vancouver processes most of its sewage, but not all. The city of Vancouver is trying to increase the population density, and is slowly expanding the sewer system. See Boris’ comment, below.

Reply to  Cam_S
August 15, 2018 9:23 pm

The nasty bacteria is probably coming from the untreated sewage been pumped into the waters around Vancouver. The unmitigated building of 40 to 50 story condo’s in the lower mainland has overloaded the sewer system. No new infrastructure in the sewage department has been upgraded to keep pace with this condo splurge. As a result Vancouver can only treat 75% of the sewage on a good day and when it rains that number drops 56%.

August 15, 2018 3:48 pm

We are living in the Matrix.

Reply to  Sheri
August 15, 2018 4:16 pm

Or the Twilight Zone.

Reply to  Sheri
August 15, 2018 4:39 pm

Pretty sure the Matrix might be living in US.
So lets put it to work.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Sheri
August 15, 2018 8:15 pm

Alice in Wonderland maybe. Wizard of Oz comes to mind. And to think we actually have people on this blog who still believe in global warming. I think I must be losing my mind if all of this is taking place.

August 15, 2018 4:28 pm

And in Ottawa, they are building a $200m tunnel to store storm water overflow instead of fixing the sewage system!

Twice a year (or so) they close the beaches on the Ottawa river because they detect coliform bacteria after excess storm run-off means they have to let untreated sewage flow into the river. Unfortunately, they have only rcently started testing for such bacteria and therfore there is no way they can say this is increasing and – as far as I can tell – no-one has ever been diagnised with an illness from swimming in the river.

I appreciate that it might have cost more than $200m to properly separate sewage from storm water, but this is Canada’s capital city and it isn’t actually all that big – less than 1 million people. Embarrassing doesn’t do justice to this kind of behaviour.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Rob
August 15, 2018 5:55 pm

It’s combined sewer overflow (storm and sanitary), not just storm water. If you round up to 1 mil in population, $200 per person is dirt cheap. A new sanitary sewer installation would cost you about that much per linear foot. Storing it so that it can later be pumped and treated is not “embarrassing”…it’s common.

About the only time you hear of someone getting sick from swimming is vibrio or the brain-eating amoeba, the latter of which seems to be limited to warmer and more stagnant water. But swimming in untreated but diluted sewage is not a good idea. The whole concept of treating wastewater before discharging it to waterways rose out of public health issues.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  Rob
August 16, 2018 7:29 am

Rob, there are two ways to handle stormwater. Together or separately.

If it’s together, the surge capacity is necessary. You can’t oversize a sewer system to deal with peak flows since your bacteria won’t have enough to eat in low times. Sewer treatment is a biological treatment, and if your bacteria die off, you will have poor treatment until you can get your sludge back up again. However, you can use a surge vessel to restrict it and then run the sewer system at full capacity for a few days until you come back to normal.

If you are trying to keep it separate, then you have to run two completely separate sewer systems. This makes the treatment much easier (excess clean water causes trouble and can overload clarifiers and overflow digesters), but it is quite expensive to set up.

Pat Frank
August 15, 2018 4:34 pm

So, Toronto has been spending money on climate change mitigation instead of on upgrading its sewer system to 1950’s standards.

So, McKenna is right, in a formal sort of way. Climate Changeᵀᴹ is causing greater sewage problems in Toronto.

By way of inducing imbecilic and criminal negligence in the Canadian government, starting with Catherine McKenna herself.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Pat Frank
August 15, 2018 8:23 pm

Don’t forget She is just a puppet for the PM of the day that can shuffle his cabinet on a moment’s notice. There used to be so many cabinet shuffles in Canadian governments that the only reason I could think of ; of why so many; were that the PMs of the day did it on purpose to make sure that the individual cabinet minister wouldnt be there long enough to find out too many problems or obtain too much info on his/her department. The individual cabinet ministers are constantly coached on what to say by the PM’s office.

Alan Miller
August 15, 2018 4:50 pm

The crap from the posse of idiots in Ottawa posing as a government is beyond pathetic and embarrassing. So sad for Canada…

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Alan Miller
August 15, 2018 8:25 pm

And the carbon tax is scheduled to kick in in less than 5 months.

Johnnny Scarborough
August 15, 2018 5:09 pm

There was a time when the CBC was all we had and I’m sixty on Sunday. I remember as a boy growing up on Halifax harbor the stench from the tidal pools anyway the tragedy is that I only watch hockey on that Liberal party TV network just mentioned Conservatives don’t have the stones to make it go public like every other network on the continent . You might argue NPR or whatever you call it but how many Billions do they receive relative to The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ?

August 15, 2018 5:19 pm

This statement by McKenna is worthless garbage. The problem is well known, of long duration and affects most cities. The reason is simple. The major central sewer and storm-water systems were built starting about a century ago. Since that time, cities have grown enormously and in general the water works have not kept pace.

So there’s two problems. 1) Most cities are now engaged in large-scale renovations to replace century-old tile which is past its useful life and now leaking. Simply because of old tile, I can think of at least one small city that was leaking just over a million liters of drinking water a day before they undertook major renovations.

2) The sewage system has always overflowed into the storm system because otherwise people’s toilets will back up during a heavy rainstorm. It does this a lot more now because, well, there’s a lot more of us doing our daily business.

In sum, all the facts show is a need for a lot more investment in long-neglected urban water systems. McKenna is an idiot to blame this on global warming. But then, those of us poor Canadians who have to suffer this moron knew that long ago.

Walt D.
August 15, 2018 5:32 pm

Quite plausible.
Number of Global Climate Change articles is growing exponentially.
Global Climate Change articles = raw sewage.

August 15, 2018 6:12 pm

This is just more proof that as government grows larger and more powerful it becomes dumber and less effective. Some on the Left would have us believe that the Founding Fathers of the USA were somehow stupid and couldn’t possibly foresee what the future would bring. Every time I read their writings I am amazed at just how smart, well educated and critical thinkers they were. They clearly understood that the smaller government and the closer to the people the better.

Caligula Jones
August 15, 2018 7:05 pm

See if you can follow this: Climate Barbie says that its ok to dump sewage, as long as its done in a “responsible” manner:


“Canada’s Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said she would permit the dump as long as the city implemented several conditions measures to limit the effect of the sewage on the river that included an emergency management plan, video surveillance during and following the discharge and water quality monitoring.”

And, miraculously, it was:


So, hey, what’s the issue again?

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Caligula Jones
August 16, 2018 9:49 am

Great find!

August 15, 2018 9:15 pm

Meanwhile on the west coast of Canada the BC government is fighting an upgrade and replacement of an existing 50 year old oil pipeline from Edmonton AB to Burnaby BC. The main claim to this court case is a theoretical oil spill will befoul the pristine waters off of BC’s coast. The federal government has already given their approval for this upgrade but the BC government changed hands during the last election after the approval was given. So the upgrade is now in the courts again and the federal government has purchased the Pipeline from Kinder Morgan to try and get it built.

BC as a whole is a Green Lefty utopia according to the bias press and the main stream media. The vocal minority gets the most air time and press spouting their anti-fossil fuels agenda. At the same time the dismal numbers when it comes to the sewage treatment in the lower province makes you literally sick. An out break of Cholera in March is the result of raw sewage washing up on the beaches and people eating contaminated shell fish. So much for pristine waters. Vancouver district can only treat 75% of this sewage on a good day with no rain. When it is raining that number drops to around 56%. The out flow goes into the Fraser River and to the sea. The capital Victoria and it’s surrounding district have NO treatment other than grinding up the big lumps and it is all pumped into the straight between Vancouver island and Washington state. The city of Victoria was told to clean up their act in 1986 and to this day they are still delaying and fighting over who gets to host the NEW sewage treatment facility. What a bunch of hypocrites.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Boris
August 15, 2018 9:26 pm

You mean the “weed” coast of Canada….

Joel O'Bryan
August 15, 2018 9:25 pm

I nominated Climate Barbie for the whatever it is award that Ken Haapala is collecting votes for.
I read up on her past climate mutterings. Yes, She’s as clueless as a plastic doll about climate science.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 15, 2018 10:03 pm

She’s the kind of woman who inspired blonde jokes (remember those?).

[Please do not insult blondes on this forum by comparing their reasonable replies in blonde jokes to such a politician … .mod]

High Treason
August 15, 2018 10:07 pm

The all-purpose whipping boy-“climate change” will eventually have names added to it as being responsible. How convenient, they will all be political enemies. It is also likely that some group, such as Jews will be blamed for the “climate change.”
Think I am joking? Think again. This scenario has been played out repeatedly throughout history. Blame your political enemies or some scapegoat for whatever “evil” is about , then persecute the hell out of them.
Time to wake up. We are in an era of creeping fascism. WW 2 was not the end of propaganda, it was a stepping stone to even worse to come. The big propaganda at the moment- “climate change” or “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.”

Alan the Brit
Reply to  High Treason
August 16, 2018 3:43 am

The Romans blamed the Christians for everything bad in Rome & persecuted them for it! Nullius novus sub solice!

Lee L
August 16, 2018 12:57 am

Leaking raw sewage.

Can anyone tell me what is a septic field?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Lee L
August 16, 2018 8:42 am

Not the same thing.

Nigel Sherratt
Reply to  Lee L
August 16, 2018 2:41 pm

The raw sewage has already had some treatment in the septic tank depending on how well designed and maintained it is.

The first was built in Exeter, UK in 1896 (65 ft x 18 ft x 7 ft to 7 ft 9 in)

Robert of Ottawa
August 16, 2018 1:54 am

Only in Canada, eh? Sigh.

Robert of Ottawa
August 16, 2018 1:57 am

The good news is that the present federal government wll have to run the next election on the basis of an additional “carbon” tax.

Alan the Brit
August 16, 2018 2:54 am

There is a spot in Torbay in the South-West of UK, part of the English Riviera, called Thatcher’s Rock, there is/was a raw sewage outfall from the mainland opposite, around 100yards away or so, where many fishing boats professional & amateur gather to cast their nets for a rich haul!!!!

Steve O
August 16, 2018 5:38 am

Government is telling its citizens that the failure of government to do its basic job is the fault of climate change. See “California wildfires.”

August 16, 2018 6:19 am

Amazing. Many cities in Canada dump raw sewage into the local waterways. But to make up for it we separate our trash into different piles before pickup.

Toronto will be adding a new trash bucket for lightly soiled toilet paper. Right now it creates an eyesore seeing it hung out to dry in peoples backyards. Much better than waving it in the air at the next leafs game.

Dave Anderson
Reply to  ferdberple
August 16, 2018 8:31 am

Please tell me you are making that up.

Andrew Kerber
August 16, 2018 6:37 am

Actually, this makes sense. A warmer world is a more human friendly world. A more human friendly world means more humans, which translates to more sewage. More sewage means more leaks. Obvious.

Joel Snider
August 16, 2018 7:58 am

Maybe she’s just talking about the collective progressive shit-fit.

Dave Anderson
August 16, 2018 8:21 am

Even separating drain and sewage lines sometimes isn’t enough. Duluth Mn from day one build separate drains and sewage systems. But 100 years later ground water infuses into the leaky sewer lines, especially during big rain events. During heavy rains the sewage treatment plant got overwhelmed and had to dump raw sewage into the bay. So the EPA ordered them to spend a huge amount of money to build 4 or 5 gigantic concrete storage containers as buffers.

Somehow the money was found, the job got done, and the waters keep getting cleaner and cleaner. There is much to be proud about the USA.

August 16, 2018 9:51 am

CBC and the Canadian Press Climate Change articles are part of the leaks…

Mumbles McGuirck
August 16, 2018 1:02 pm

What do old men do about sewage leaks? … Depends.

August 16, 2018 5:05 pm

Just do what Chicago did.
Dig a huge hole, and call it a tunnel (tunnel to where, one might ask).
It sounds better than a huge hole that can’t possibly hold the worst She can inflict upon us, but it should cut down on the beach closings when the effluent overflow needs to be released into the lake.
It keeps many basements drier and viaducts open, yet She can fill it in like an hour:

She probably appreciates the effort.

John Cox
August 17, 2018 6:25 am

Is our Enviro Minster just a complete idiot or goes she really understand the problem of Toronto’s waste water problem? Standard Liberal BS, yap yap yap, this person is just a talking head, just like the kid in the top chair. The Liberal elitist that run the party pull all the strings and they don’t do it for the benefit of Canadians

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