Here the warning sign to keep people from accessing Ancaster creek as it reaches McMaster University just south of Spencer Creek and Cootes Paradise:
WARNING: Combined storm sanitary sewer outfall. This water may be contaminated.
Do not play in this immediate area. KEEP AWAY. CITY OF HAMILTON
While we are blessed with these lovely creeks, we cannot fully access them for our enjoyment, and indeed, we regularly pollute the waters with our waste water thus contributing to the ongoing problems blocking progress in efforts to improve water quality in Cootes.
Rather than offering a connection to nature through recreation like swimming, wading, fishing, or just dipping your toes into the cool creek, the creek instead presents a threat to human health. What kind of message does that send to young people curious to explore the world around them?
This past summer, my daughter and I got caught in a sudden and furious rain storm while beside Spring Creek in Dundas; taking shelter beneath a pine tree and huddled beneath our jackets, we were suddenly aware of a strong stench of sewage rising from the creek. It was a shocking reminder of how poorly we have made our world without regard to nature.