Residents are advised that the Municipality of Port Hope will be dredging a small portion of the outer harbour during the week of September 7, 2020 to remove excess sediment build-up. The operation is scheduled to take four days.

Municipal staff was approached by Cameco staff, who advised that their cooling water intake has sediment build-up and is causing operational concerns. This was observed by Cameco’s divers who inspect all water intake and outflow lines annually. Municipal staff is in consultation with Cameco to determine the cause of the sediment build-up.

Dredging area and removal

The area to dredge is relatively small and it is anticipated that approximately 250 cubic meters of sediment will be removed from the harbour. This work will be completed by Oliver’s Excavating, using a 60-foot boom excavator. The material will be placed in dump trucks and temporarily deposited at the West Beach, immediately south of the playground. The sediment will initially be placed in piles and fenced off until the material is tested to ensure it meets provincial requirements for beach supplement.

Sediment testing

Testing of the sediment will be completed by the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories through the Construction Monitoring Program (CMP) for the presence of Low-Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW), as well as Terraprobe, an independent consultant who will test the material to ensure it meets Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks requirements and can be used as beach supplement.

If the presence of LLRW is detected, it will be transported to the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Facility. CMP will be on site as the material arrives. If the testing results reveal that the sediment cannot be used for beach infill, it will be transported to an appropriate receiving site.

If the sediment is safe for use as beach infill, it will then be placed on the beach, well back from the shore, in the grass area just below the playground where there is a depression, which can hold standing water. It will not be placed on the shoreline as it would eventually be pulled back into Lake Ontario and potentially back to the area that has been dredged for sediment removal.

Previous dredging operations

The Municipality has conducted numerous dredging operations over the years. Typically, the sediment has been placed on the East Beach, and used as beach infill. LLRW contamination or evidence of other contaminants have not been detected in previous dredging operations.

Costs and environmental compliance

The Municipality will facilitate the removal of the sediment and Cameco will cover the costs of the undertaking.

In order to conduct the dredging, the Municipality has received permission from the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Questions about the dredging operations may be directed to Jim McCormack, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Culture for the Municipality of Port Hope at