More study ordered by Minister on Duffins Creek Sewage Outfall

More than two years after the regions submitted their environmental assessment to the province for duckbill diffusers on the outfall pipe, the Minister has issued his response - not a victory, but definitely not a defeat.

The minister has ordered the Regions (Durham & York - the proponents) to do more studies.

Specifically the Regions are to engage an independent waste water expert to prepare a "Phosphorus Reduction Action Plan Study"

The Ministry appears to have accepted the evidence that the excess Cladophora on Ajax's waterfront is at least partially due to phosphorus from the sewage plant and is looking for a plan to reduce it.

The study is to include "a determination of the feasibility of achieving a permanent (or ongoing) annual average concentration of 0.35 mgms per litre of total phosphorus in the WPCP effluent, as well as a total load of 190 Kgm per day based on an annual average."

Currently the plant is discharging at about 0.5 mgms per litre and and a maximum load of 311 kgm per day, so the reduction is not huge but the study will include:

a study of new methods that could be employed to reduse phosphorus in the WPCP effluent; and

the determination of an option that will result in the lowest achievable level ,of total phosphorus levels in effluent, including an assessment of thre operating implications of, and the modifications and costs required to achieve such reductions

This will presumably include a detailed independent assessment of several tertiary treatment options that the regions refused to do as part of their EA.

The Regions are to submit the study within 9 months but may apply for an extension.