Friday, October 14, 2005

Taylor-Massey Creek Pollution Studies

Outfalls near St. Clair Ave. East and Birchmount
(Click to expand)

I'm still working on part III of the Taylor-Massey story but in the meantime I thought I would bring you up to date on some recent reports on Taylor-Massey Creek released through the Works Committee.

Last spring a spill occurred in the creek created by a very visible red dye. When staff said they didn't know where it came from, local councillor Janet Davis said they had bloody well better find out. Apparently this has lit a fire somewhere in the Works department because they have actually done some serious monitoring in TMC over the summer.

To no one's surprise they found that the creek is seriously polluted. Staff located 153 outfalls between the mouth and Pine Hills Cemetery. They plan to locate the remaining outfalls by next summer. Of the 153 outfalls, at least 68 have a base flow. Of those, 21 show levels of e.coli bacteria and other pollutants that exceed municipal and/or provincial water quality guidelines. In particular, e.coli levels greatly exceed the guidelines with one outfall showing a level of 1,200,000/100 ml. To put this in perspective, the city closes its beaches when levels exceed 100/100 ml!

Staff intend to do further studies on these 21 outfalls to determine the source of the pollution.

Storm Outfall Monitoring Report
Table 1: Outfalls Exhibiting Contamination
Table 2: Contaminated Outfall Locations

Also released is a report listing studies planned over the next year. These include a geomorphological study and a report on the feasibility of initiating (don't you just love city speak?) a class EA to remediate TMC outfalls.

TMC Planned Studies Report

Mike Adler, a reporter for the East York Mirror, attended the Works Committee meeting and has written two articles on this subject. Here are the links to the articles:

Creek Water Like Sewage: Tests Show

Action on Creek Pollution Promised


Anonymous said...

Yikes! I always wondered why the creek looks so clean but I never see anything living in there. No fish, no snails, not even algae, nothing... Thanx for the info DW. Keep on watching :)


Donwatcher said...

A friend of mine told me he used to see crayfish in TMC when he was a kid, but no more. If this monitoring leads to a pollution cleanup I hope that we will see a restoration of some of the things that found a living in the creek.


Anonymous said...

I would appreciate a contact at Works for this as I cannot get anyone to test the water in the Nordheimer. After the Storm Water Management workshop I went to the city's water line but no one in the city, parks, public health, ministry of the environment, or the TRCA seems ready to tell us what might be in the water or test it.


Donwatcher said...

Is there a water pollution problem in Nordheimer? Is it the ponds you're worried about or the ditch where the water runs into the sewer drain?