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Pipewatch is designed to engage community members in visual and hands on monitoring of water quality in local waterways. 

Initially introduced by Enviornmenth Hamilton in 2002, the project was revived in the summer of 2012 in order to revisit the Red Hill Creek watershed -- an identified area on concern in east Hamitlon. Here, community members were trained to visually monitor storm sewer and combined sewer outfall pipes for problem releases and educated on proper reporting procedures should they see any problem discharges. As a result, 8 outfalls were identified by the community as being problematic. Bacteriological samples taken from these sites later confirmed community suspion with 7 of the 8 of them testing well above the city by-law limit and the provincial recreational use limit for e.coli and total coliform. Results/media can be found on the materials page

Since then, the program has focussed on encouraging residents/pipewatchers to Adopt-A-Pipe --  helping to ensure that the program and its benefits will become long term and self sustaining. 


UPDATE: SUCCESS! In response to our 2012 sampling efforts along the Red Hill Creek, the city's Public Works Committee has voted to allocate $450 million and hire two additional staff to tackle the contamination issues that we brought public. Proof that citizen science can make an impact! To view CBC's coverage, click here


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   What's New With the Project? Follow Our Blog! Click here 


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    Why Monitor the Red Hill Valley Creek? Click here


Pipewatch - Bullet Point.jpg    What Are Outfalls? How Does the System Work? Click here


Pipewatch - Bullet Point.jpg    Materials (Handbooks, Recording Sheets, etc) Click here


Where are the outfalls? Click here to view our interactive map with detailed information. 

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How to Get Involved: 

Interested in getting involved? Great! We're looking for individuals and groups to aid the project by becoming pipewatchers and adopting outfalls along the watershed. What does adopting an outfall entail? It's simple.

  1. Select an outfall(s) from our interactive map above. ALL outfalls are available for adoption. Don't worry if someone else is watching the same outfall as you, the more information collected the better! 
  2. Visit your outfall on a continual basis that fits your schedule. This could be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Use our recording sheets and manual found on our materials page. 
  3. Report your findings. Should you see anything concerning (very high flows, very strong odours, etc) report those immediately using the phone numbers/emails provided in the manuals. Once your recording sheet is full, submit it to us at Environment Hamilton via email or mail. 

For more information, please contact Katie at kstiel@environmenthamilton.org or by phone at Environment Hamilton (905-549-0900). Please note that group training sessions are available free of charge. Volunteer hours can be awarded to high school students for their participation. 

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This project has received funding support from the Government of Ontario. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Government of Ontario of the contents of this material.