Sewage is a major focus of Waterkeeper's work. With sewage bypasses happening regularly in Toronto, Waterkeeper has been watching the news surrounding Montreal's 8 billion litre sewage dump into the St. Lawrence River very closely. To comment on the issue, the organization's President and Vice-President, Mark Mattson and Krystyn Tully, wrote an op-ed for the Globe and Mail. Here is an excerpt from the article.
When word got out that Montreal would be dumping sewage – a lot of sewage – into the St. Lawrence, the public took note. It’s a story that threatens our very identity. Are we a nation that puts raw sewage into our rivers?
It’s 2015, and the answer is yes.
Officials say that the sewage dump isn’t ideal. They say it is “less bad” than the alternatives. They say they don’t have any other choice.
To be clear, the only people who truly have no choice are the residents of Montreal, who can’t surf, boat or fish in their river this week. They are the ones sacrificing access to a natural, public resource because the people responsible for maintaining their infrastructure and enforcing the rules let them down.
Others say that “everyone is doing it.” That makes it worse, not better.
By rationalizing the sewage dump, we miss an opportunity to explore the real question on the public’s mind: How do we get from where we are in 2015 – dumping sewage and saying we have no choice – to the swimmable, drinkable, fishable country we want to be?
Stay up to date on Toronto's sewage bypasses by checking in with our sewage bypass log.