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July 30, 2002
Update on sewage back up near Downsview lands
Works and Emergency Services - A sewer blockage near the Downsview lands
earlier today was caused by plastic bags and a plastic raincoat stuck in the
municipal sanitary sewer.

As a result, connections to the sanitary sewer backed up, resulting in basement
flooding in the area.

According to Mike Price, General Manager of the City's Water and Wastewater
Division, the City of Toronto's sewer system can easily handle waste from the
World Youth Day events at the site over the weekend.

"There is absolutely no doubt that the system is capable of removing the waste
from the site," said Price.

World Youth Day organizers were provided with three approved municipal sanitary
sewage discharge locations to service the portable toilet operation on the
Downsview lands for the duration of World Youth Day events. These locations are
not linked to the sewer where the blockage occurred.

"Plastic bags and raincoats do not normally enter the system through toilet
facilities," added Price. "Large items such as these can plug local sanitary

City staff is still investigating how these items came to be in the sewer
system at this location.

Media Contact
Steve Johnston



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