Work on north pond nearing completion: Sydney Tar Ponds Agency

The solidification and stabilization of the north pond in the Sydney tar ponds cleanup is almost complete, with work on the channel expected to wrap up next month.

Cape Breton Post
Mon., Oct. 24, 2011

Sydney Tar Ponds Agency spokesperson Tanya Collier MacDonald said crews will continue to cap the north pond until the winter weather arrives.

“The engineered cap that’s now on the south pond and grass is growing on, they will be doing the same thing in the second phase of the north pond,” MacDonald said. “It’s an engineered protective cap that keeps things from interacting with the solidified and stabilized material.”

Once phase two of the north pond is completed, likely in the spring, work will begin on the third and final phase, which includes moving the pump-around station to Battery Point.

The Wash Brook and Coke Ovens Brook, which were diverted around the south and north ponds, will be redirected into the channel narrows. “The next phase is to pick up that pumping system, move it over to the narrows, allow that water from Wash Brook and Coke Ovens Brook to move into the channel,” MacDonald said. “It will be picked up at the end of the channel before it gets into the third phase, and just moves around that small area and into the harbour, just so they can manage the water in that third phase.”

She said water will likely be running through the channel by November 2012.

In moving the pump system over to Battery Point, the third phase includes controlling the natural movement of the water and limiting the amount of sediment that empties into Sydney harbour. “When water moves quickly it creates energy, so what this does it allows the water to be released into something like a tub so that it overflows and gently moves into the harbour,” said MacDonald.

The south pond is nearing completion and grass has already started to grow, MacDonald said.

Minutes from the September meeting of the community liaison committee indicate just over half of the money for the $400-million cleanup had been spent at the end of the 2010-11 fiscal year.

The tar ponds and the coke ovens are the result of more than a century of steelmaking