Ontario supports expansion at Duffin Creek sewage treatment site

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario government is proposing new legislation that, if passed, would speed up planned improvements to the existing York-Durham Sewage System network connected to the Duffin Creek treatment facility.

Following recommendations of the York Region Wastewater Advisory Panel, the proposed legislation accommodates regional growth through an existing wastewater infrastructure service agreement between York and Durham Regions.

Government documents say the expansion proposal is “the most effective option available” for Durham and York Regions to continue sharing the treatment facility to accommodate population growth.

“Expansion of this shared critical wastewater infrastructure for York and Durham Regions is needed to support their significant population housing, and economic growth. Our government is proposing a solution that ensures the most robust wastewater treatment as these communities continue to grow,” said David Piccini, minister of the environment, conservation and parks. “The Duffin Creek treatment facility is one of the best performing wastewater facilities in the province that ensures the protection, enjoyment and welfare of Lake Ontario, shoreline communities and nearshore areas.”

The Duffin Creek treatment facility is one of the top performing wastewater treatment plants in Ontario, achieving world-class standards for high quality treatment, phosphorus control and protective measures for the surrounding environment and watershed, with a capacity to process 630 million litres per day.

Today, this facility operates at approximately 50 per cent capacity and the proposal would add an additional 12 per cent to the current flow levels. Over the past 25 years, governments at all levels have invested more than $850 million in the plant. Phosphorous limits are significantly lower than those at other wastewater facilities in Ontario and will continue to be reduced as the facility implements additional upgrades between now and 2030.

In January, Ontario announced $15 million to build, upgrade and rehabilitate storm and wastewater infrastructure in the Lake Ontario basin – with a goal of optimizing plants, improving local sewer systems and investing in green infrastructure. The Regional Municipality of Durham is receiving $836,590 through this program which will help improve water quality in Lake Ontario.

The government will also be boosting science and monitoring capacity of Lake Ontario by making investments focused on monitoring and research with external partners to track, predict and better understand conditions in Lake Ontario. This work will ensure we continue to support and maintain the highest quality of water for Lake Ontario.


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