Raw sewage overflowing into Ontario waterways at alarming rate: watchdog
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Dianne Saxe releases a report at the Ontario Legislature, in Toronto on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. The report examined how Ontario was meeting it's environmental targets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, November 13, 2018 10:25AM EST
TORONTO - Ontario's environmental watchdog says the province is allowing raw sewage to overflow into lakes and rivers at an alarming rate.
Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe is raising concerns about the issue in her annual report that has been released today.
The report says that between April 2017 and March this year, raw sewage overflowed into southern Ontario waterways 1,327 times from nearly 60 outdated municipal sewer systems that combine sewage and stormwater.
Saxe recommends the province require every municipality with combined sewers to take action to eliminate overflows using measures like additional stormwater fees and building additional infrastructure.
Saxe says the province's waterways are also being affected by run-off laden with fertilizer and road salt.
The report also notes that provincial standards on toxic waste poured into waterways haven't been updated in 25 years.