60 Sudbury-area homes affected by sewer backups

City crews in Sudbury continue to monitor roads, water systems and waterways after a heavy rainfall on Monday.
Upwards of 60 homes in Garson, Coniston, Wanapitate and Azilda were affected by sewer backup as rain pelted the Sudbury region overnight. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

City crews in Sudbury continue to monitor roads, water systems and waterways after a heavy rainfall on Monday.

About 45 mm of rain fell, causing flooding in several areas of the city.

The director of water and wastewater services with the city said wastewater systems were running well over capacity and crews worked to mitigate the risks.

In spite of their efforts, Nick Benkovich said upwards of 60 homes in Garson, Coniston, Wanapitae and Azilda were affected by sewer backups.

"If a resident is experiencing a sewer backup, they should call 311. That will be the most expeditious way to have that situation dealt with,” he said.

“We have staff 24-7 that will respond to those types of issues."

The heavy rainfall also affected many roads and streets. David Shelsted, Sudbury’s director of roads and transportation, said water levels are starting to go down on roadways, and now crews are dealing with ice.

"Areas that have had water on the road are starting to freeze over … so we're having to go out there with special equipment to remove the ice off the road and then salt it so that we can make it safe for vehicle traffic in those areas,” he said.

Drinking water could be affected

The Nickel District Conservation Authority has issued a flood watch for the Sudbury area, but stated water levels are starting to decline.

In North Bay, a flood warning was issued there, but water levels are going down in that area as well.

The City of Greater Sudbury said municipal drinking water is safe and the recent heavy rain didn't affect the supply.

However, the Sudbury Health unit warned the rain could affect wells and septic systems and create health risks. If surface water enters a well from the top due to flooding, the drinking water becomes contaminated and unsafe, officials said.

If that has happened, the health unit recommends people boil their water for at least two minutes before drinking. Once the water goes down from a flood, the health unit recommends disinfecting the well.

Drinking water advisory for Spanish River

The Sudbury and District Health Unit has issued an advisory for people who get their drinking water from the Spanish River.

On Monday night a train derailed about three kilometres east of Nairn Centre, after flood water washed over the tracks.

Nairn Centre Mayor Laurier Falldien said the derailment happened close to 11 p.m., and a small amount of diesel fuel leaked into a creek that feeds into the Spanish River.

Health unit officials said the drinking water advisory also applies to residents whose wells are supplied by the river.

Residents have been asked not to use the water until the health unit gives the OK.