MPP Dufferin-Caledon

News Release – Jones: Introduces Legislation to Publicize Instances of Sewage Bypasses

(Queen’s Park) – May 31, 2017 – Sylvia Jones MPP Dufferin-Caledon introduced Bill 141: The Sewage Bypass Reporting Act, 2017. Bill 141 will require the Ministry of Environment to publish within 24 hours instances of sewage bypasses into waterways.

Sewage bypasses occurs when flow exceeds the capacity of the treatment plant, normally due to storms. This means that raw sewage is released into connected waterways.

“Currently there is no requirement for public reporting when a bypass occurs, despite the potential risk to health of those who swim, paddle, boat or fish in affected waterways. This means that Ontarians are generally unaware of the occurrences of sewage bypasses and the presence of untreated sewage in their local waterways,” said Jones.

“A recent example was the storms in early May in Toronto. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper reported that E. coli levels ranged between 16 and 30 times the approved level for swimming in Lake Ontario due to storms,” said Jones.

“Despite the Ministry being aware of sewage bypasses occurring, this information is not readily available to the public. Families and Ontario deserve to know about potential threats to the quality of their local waterways,” said Jones.

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