Above-ground tip of problem is finally being exposed...
But, it's the ticking time-bomb, underground, (causing
a threat to life and safety) that really points to
 evidence of the dirty scandal still to be uncovered.

Odour problems and contamination risks to source drinking water were
 predicted, long in advance, by engineers who were completely independent.

From the Ottawa Sun:


April 12, 2007

Fine deflates pump fans


Richmond residents have scored a well-deserved victory in their fight against the continuing problems with the Richmond pumping station.

It's been a long and arduous fight, with plenty of naysayers along the way.

But last week, the City of Ottawa pleaded guilty to a charge under the provincial Environmental Protection Act and was fined $65,000.

The fine -- and admission of guilt -- confirms what Richmond residents have been saying for some time now: The pumping station stinks.

"We've been proven right," said Bruce Webster, the president of the Richmond Village Association.

But it seems being right isn't as sweet as you might think.

"Of course, the city is paying the fine, so we as taxpayers are paying the fine. And the money goes to the Ministry of the Environment."

Being fined for being right isn't quite what the residents had in mind.

On top of that, there's still no guarantee the problem of the stench won't continue, Webster said.

While he's encouraged to have the support of many senior level city staff, along with Rideau-Goulbourn Coun. Glenn Brooks, Webster and other residents fear what effect this has had on property values.

Brooks inherited the Richmond residents and the pumping station -- formerly represented by Janet Stavinga -- through the reconfiguration of the wards.

Here's part of what Stavinga wrote back in 2003, in strong support of the pipeline, basically saying what's done is done, she's right and the residents -- well, there's no mention of the residents:

"In the end, the pipeline has won the approval of the Ministry of the Environment and the support of every elected body that has ever considered the matter. The pipeline is a safe, effective, and well-established technology.

"On-site option would likely require at least another year of review under the provincial Environmental Assessment process. That delay would compound environmental problems at the Munster lagoons and require additional hauling of sewage at an annual cost of $500,000. Now, we move forward."

Not too caring.

Clearly, Stavinga had no interest in giving too much thought to what her Richmond residents wanted.

Innes Coun. Rainer Bloess was one of the few city councillors to offer a sympathetic -- and concerned -- shoulder to the group who were worried about the quality of life.

"I guess this (court decision) isn't entirely unexpected," Bloess said yesterday.

Brooks concurs.

While he originally supported the plan -- based on Stavinga's support and staff's recommendation -- he began to have serious concerns several years ago, prompted by the Richmond residents' fight against the station.

Those concerns solidified when he began representing the ward after the election.

"These residents have a right to enjoy sitting in their backyards," Brooks said yesterday.

To date, residents say sitting outside and enjoying the fresh air has been a hit-and-miss experience.

"This is just one of many problems I've inherited (from Stavinga)," a frustrated Brooks said.

It was back in the spring of 2005 that the new Munster Hamlet forcemain began pumping sewage to the Richmond Pumping station.

Brooks is worried about the eventual costs of this mistake, saying: "It think it could end up costing us (millions)."

While the $65,000 fine is costing all Ottawa taxpayers -- including those Richmond residents -- there is a small silver lining.

By entering a guilty plea early, the city avoided costs associated with a long legal battle, which could likely have included picking up the ministry's legal costs. And a second charge was withdrawn by the Crown.

Small consolation for the group in Richmond, of course.

Seems they're now slowly realizing that you can fight City Hall. In fact, you can fight City Hall and win. Unfortunately, it might cost you.

-Ottawa Sun-


Murky History:

Record of frequent downstream forcemain breaks and broken trust:

Some of the documents relating to the sordid affair: