Investigation finds that sewage flows into Toronto Harbour every time it rains, with no warning or water quality monitoring to inform public.
December 16, 2016 — Sewage flows into Toronto's inner harbour regularly. When it happens, there is no water quality monitoring or public alerts to inform the public. Those are the findings of a new video report released Thursday by the charity Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.
This past summer, volunteer investigators collected water samples in a quest to answer questions about pollution in Toronto Harbour. Samples were tested for E. coli, an indicator bacteria for human sewage.
Two-thirds (⅔) of the samples collected failed to meet Ontario government standards for environmental protection. On one day, E. coli levels near Bathurst Street and Queens Quay West was 700-times higher than Ontario’s swimming standards.
Waterkeeper investigators identified found nine hotspots where sewage is released directly into the harbour, hidden from plain sight. They hope to sample regularly in 2017 and deliver harbour water quality results to boaters via the group’s Swim Guide app (www.theswimguide.org).
For more information on sewage in Toronto Harbour, please check out the video report.
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- Toronto Harbour Report 2016 (Video, Key Findings, Sampling Data)
- Toronto Harbour Watermarks (Submit, View submissions)
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Lake Ontario Waterkeeper/Swim Drink Fish Canada
Phone: (416) 861-1237
Email: mattc [at] waterkeeper.ca