Sewage is a popular subject matter here at Waterkeeper and we talk about it a lot. Last night, Montreal started dumping its 8 billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. So Global TV stopped by our office to talk with Waterkeeper, Mark Mattson about sewage issues from a Toronto perspective. Here is a quick overview of what was discussed.
Global: What is the quality of water in Lake Ontario?
MM: Lake Ontario is clean, but the shoreline is a danger zone.
Global: This past summer Toronto agreed to start issuing wet weather and sewage bypass advisories. What is your opinion on this?
MM: Transparency is a step in the right direction. Next, infrastructure changes will come and ultimately people will be connected to water again.
Global: What was your reaction to the Montreal sewage issue?
MM: I am very frustrated and disappointed by the Montreal issue. The city is now on the defense and by doing so they are diminishing the impact of this issue, and disregarding the law. They are not setting a good example for Canadian cities – if a metropolitan city like Montreal can’t manage its sewage properly, how can we expect smaller cities to do it.
Global: What do you think Montreal has learned by this?
MM: How much people care. Montreal was definitely surprised by the citizen’s reaction.