Is 'crap bubble' off Scarborough shoreline toxic?
BY JENNY YUEN, TORONTO SUN
The clear water off Scarborough's shoreline became murky, according to a private pilot who spotted a 15-metre "crap bubble" -- with seagulls flocking around -- south of the Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant on Sunday. What is that brown spot in Lake Ontario, how did it get there, and is it toxic?
Kris Scheuer, spokesman for City of Toronto, Toronto Water
"There have been no combined sewage overflows (treated water and untreated sewage) or sewage dumped into the lake from Highland Creek Treatment Plant on Sunday ... or recently. Toronto Water has no records of environmental spills ... no one has reported a spill to us. All systems from (the plant) have been functioning and working within regulatory requirements."
Kate Jordan, spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
"The ministry has not received any reports of impacts to Highland Creek, nor any upsets or spills from the city's treatment plant last weekend. We will continue to follow up."
Mark Mattson of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
"There is a really important principle about public alerts when there are discharges. Right now, that hasn'thappened yet. With that pipe, the outfall (of the plant) is 1,300 metres offshore. We took a ruler to the picture and where (that spot) is coming out is 1,300 metres offshore. The plant should know. ... My experience is proper treatment means sediments are settled out and the water is very much clear as it's discharged back into the lake."
Professor Matthew Wells, of University of Toronto's physical and environmental sciences department
"Probably nothing to get excited about. Most sewage treatment plants have outfalls at around 10-metres depth in Lake Ontario, which means if you look at a boating map, that they are about 2 km to 5 km offshore. Usually (outfalls) are designed so that material disperses sufficiently that it doesn't reach surface and spreads at depth, but occasionally the waste material could reach surface."
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