Duffin Water Treatment Plant should clean-up its act for Lake Ontario

Studies show Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant is contributing to algal blooms along Ajax nearshore.  Below is a letter from Sierra Club Ontario to MOE regarding the need to improve water treatment to prevent this and help clean-up the Lake Ontario shoreline in Pickering & Ajax.


November 25, 2014


Dear Ms. Garcia-Wright:


Re:   Town of Ajax

Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant Outfall Class EA

MOECC File: ENV1283MC-2007-364


Sierra Club Canada Foundation and its Ontario Chapter fully support the Town of Ajax in its application for a Part II Order request regarding the Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant (Outfall EA). Sierra Club agrees that the outflow from the Duffin Plant is responsible for the algal problem that is contaminating the Pickering-Ajax shoreline. Recent studies undertaken by Dr. Auer and a team of scientists from the Michigan Technological University point clearly to the Duffin Plant outflow as the causative factor.

Sierra Club in both Canada and the United States is supporting efforts to reduce pollution in the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) Annex 4 commits both countries to the reduction of pollution responsible for the alarming increase in algal blooms throughout the Lakes. The GLWQA specifically targets sewage treatment plants for technological upgrades to address this increasing problem. The current Class EA would allow total phosphorus discharges to triple over current loads, which is unacceptable. Upgrading the Duffin Plant to tertiary treatment would be consistent with the objectives of GLWQA Nutrient Annex.

Sierra Club therefore urges MOECC to grant the request of the Town of Ajax for a Part II Order request. The health of this part of Lake Ontario and the Government of Ontario’s duty to help achieve the commitments of the GLWQA require nothing less.


Dan McDermott, Chapter Director, Sierra Club Ontario