Toronto homeowners can flush more easily now, in the knowledge that their wastewater will make it safely to Ashbridges Bay, now that the city has put the new Coxwell sanitary trunk sewer bypass into service.
The sewer was originally built in the late 1950s — but in 2008, a routine assessment of the sewer found that it was badly damaged and could rupture along a 60 metre section near Coxwell Boulevard and O’Connor Drive.
That was made more serious, as it was the only sewer carrying the wastewater from about 750,000 residents in the central part of Toronto, across the Don River and through East York, Riverdale and Leslieville to Ashbridges Bay.
City engineers determined the best solution was to build a bypass around the damaged section.
The massive construction project began in 2010.
The city used a tunnel boring machine that entered the ground in Taylor Massey Creek Park and exited at the northwest corner of Coxwell Avenue and O’Connor Drive.
The project was a challenge in a variety of ways. The city had to decommission a sewage pump house in a residential neighbourhood at Coxwell and O’Connor, and had to connect the bypass pipe to the existing, working sewer.