Raw sewage streams into Toronto creeks
Municipal inspectors have discovered that misconnected pipes aredirecting raw sewage from Toronto toilets directly into nearby creeks that stream into Lake Ontario.
One of the worst-hit waterways is Taylor-Massey Creek, which runs through Scarborough before entering the Don River and then flows into the Toronto Harbour.
Pipes from at least three homes, an apartment building and a strip mall have not been properly hooked into the system that sends effluent to the sewage treatment plant.
The pipes, instead,areconnected into the rainwater system, which allows the raw sewage containing E. coli bacteria at levels well beyond the provincial standard to flow straight into the creek.
City officials called it a major problem, but said a team of dedicated inspectors is trying to trace the source of the contamination and fix it.
"It's simply a matter of tying off and getting rid of all manner of old, ill-advised infrastructure," said Coun. Shelley Carroll, who chairs the city's works committee.
Carrollsaidthat the errant effluent entering the waterways untreated is the result of accidentally misconnected pipes and is not intentional.
"By and large, people will tend to report, 'Oh, we thought we tied that off years ago,'" she said.
Bylaws require buildings to connect their pipes into the proper sewage system.
The city began aggressively testing water flowing into the area waterways several years ago and discovered higher results than expectedin Taylor-Massey Creek, Carroll said.
Carroll said the city plans to eliminate the problem of misconnected pipes in the next five years.
Inspectors are also studying other creeks, including Black Creek.