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Sewage plant unattended?

When a power outage hit the Halifax sewage plant on January 14, no one was there to make sure backup systems were working. And the sewage has been flowing into the harbour ever since.

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There was nobody at the Halifax sewage plant on the night of January 14, and no workers present to check backup generators when a power outage hit the plant. With no power available, the machinery at the plant was quickly overwhelmed and the entire system failed. As a result, raw sewage has been flowing into Halifax Harbour ever since.

That, anyway, is the scenario a person with knowledge of the situation has outlined for me. No one else has verified the claims and, citing pending lawsuits, city officials refuse to comment on the plant failure. But my source has always been reliable in the past.

Halifax council is scheduled to discuss the sewage plant failure at its meeting today, but supporting documents for the discussion have not been made available to the press and the discussion, which had originally been planned to take place in public, has been moved to a secret in camera portion of the meeting.

The hyper secrecy around the issue suggests that officials are worried the city will be found at fault for the failure and will have to pay full costs related to cleaning up and restarting the plant.

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