Survey of impacts of high water levels in 2017 on Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Municipal and Industrial water uses
In 2017, high Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River water levels caused problems for municipal water and wastewater operators as well as some industrial facilities throughout the system. Challenges included poor drainage through municipal wastewater infrastructure in low lying areas close to the shoreline as well as reports of problems with pumping infrastructure for both waste and potable water. Many of these issues are consistent with those identified during the Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River study which identified some municipal and industrial plants on low-lying elevations near the lake that may have their facilities impacted by flooding should water levels rise to levels similar to those experienced in2017. As well, some operators may have benefited with increased intake pressure due to higher water levels. The GLAM Committee will be conducting a survey of municipal public works departments responsible for wastewater, water intake and sewer systems as well as some key industrial facilities vulnerable to flooding and high water conditions on the U.S. and Canadian shores of Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River as well as the lower St. Lawrence River from to acquire better information on impacts and benefits this industry experienced from the high water levels in 2017. The information will help the GLAM Committee refine estimates of critical problem areas and thresholds and will ultimately support longer-term activities to review existing regulation plans. This project is also highlighted in our IWI projects StoryMap here.