Public learns about cooling pond project

By Erin Pottie
Cape Breton Post
Tues., Dec. 11, 2007

Sydney - The public was invited to meet the experts working to clean up the cooling pond, located in front of the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency office.

An open house was held at the Ashby Legion on State Street, Sydney and included demos of air monitoring, cooling pond description and project experts who helped answer questions about the project remediation.

The Sydney cooling pond is a manmade, circular body of water and sludge, located on Inglis Street. The function of the pond was to cool water once used by Sysco’s rolling mills. "We’re starting the solidification in the next week or two, (we’re) just doing some of the preliminary work," said Sydney Tar Ponds Agency CEO Frank Potter. "It involves taking water off the pond, treating the sludge in the pond, removing some of the structure (and) some creosote timbers that are all around the structure."

Members of Earth Tech, the agency’s design team which has created water treatment recipes for the solidification process, were available Monday 3-7 p.m., along with representatives from All-Tech, which produces air quality detection.

The agency also included a demo of its webcam which rotates and has a 24-hour live feed of the cooling pond, which can be accessed from the website. "It’s good that the (agency) is giving the chance for the public to see what’s going on over there on the property. Finally we’re getting things going, we’ve been waiting since 1986, 21 years, finally they’re starting to move stuff," said Dave Ervin, a concerned citizen and Atlantic Coastal Action Program-Cape Breton board member.

The project set to finish in March, will include water treatment and the eventual solidification and stabilization of the sludge.