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Keeping up with the Ottawa rats?

Ottawa’s sewer rats will pioneer the first ever rodent reality tv, thanks to city hall.

Thanks to closed-circuit TV monitor technology (CCTV), the activities of Ottawa’s sewer rats will be monitored 24 /7. Safe to call it “Keeping up with Ottawa’s rats”.

The CCTV footage will be available only to the professionals who work in the environmental services department and to the city’s sewer contractors.

It has been reported in recent times that the city of Ottawa lacks effective methods of tracking rats or an efficient way to gauge how many of them are scurrying around the city at any given time of the year.As a proactive step, the city will keep tabs on sewer rats via closed-circuit TV footage for two years, starting in the first quarter of 2018.

“The pilot program is outlined in a memo sent to councillors by the head of public works and environmental services”.

Earlier in 2017, the rodent complaints in the city reached new heights. with data suggesting thatthere were 1,536 complaints lodged at city hall between 2015 and 2016 alone.

Councillors have been tasking environmental staff for an immediate yet efficient solution to reduce the number of rats spotted in the city. “Councillor Allan Hubley asked staff to report on the potential of collecting data and creating a baiting program that could be part of a long-term anti-rat strategy”.

After numerous brainstorming sessions among city staff, the idea of having Ottawa sewer rats monitored 24/7 came forth as the most efficient method requiring no additional tax money in the short term.Presently, cameras are usually deployed to inspect sewer conditionsso as to detect any issues fast and act appropriately. The city also concluded that a contractor may also review the footage for rats and document the rodent sightings so the city can start collecting data.

The collected data will give the city an idea of where the worst places with regards to rodent infestation are in the city, or at least in the city sewers.

Once a rodent hot spot is detected via camera footage, city staff will deploy rat bait in the said area to curb the excesses.

“There were 159 rodent-related service requests related to sewers in 2016, compared with 162 rodent-related requests in 2015, according to the city”.

Three of Ottawa’s city departments have been given some rat responsibility to the taxpaying public: Ottawa Public Health educates people about rodent infestation issues; bylaw officers on the other hand make sure property standards are up to date; while, the public works and environmental services department takes care of rodent complaints related to sewers, roads and parks.

The two years of live digital surveillance monitoring and rat baiting is proposed to be completely cost free, at least on the short term, the city says.After two years, it is said that the city will have a better understanding of the financial implications required to maintain a robust anti-rodent program.


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