August 17, 2008

Sample results are in - and do not look good

The following samples were taken at the leachate location during multiple visits and were graciously paid for by the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, a grassroots environmental group in Toronto. The show levels of heavy metals at the landfill in the soil in June and July. (Click on the image for a larger view)

Looking at this data in comparison to provincial and federal water quality guidelines, some of the levels seem very high – I have bolded the contaminants which are over the guidelines and listed in the last column how many times are exceed the limit. For example, Cadmium – a known carcinogen found in some industrial paints and manufacture of some batteries. – exceeds the Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life limit of 0.017 ug/L by 88 times.

While the levels of some of these contaminants in water are very concerning, comparing the soil samples has been more difficult and I am currently seeking people knowledgeable in this area to help understand this data. More samples were taken recently at the landfill and following the wetland to the outlet in order to assess whether the wetland (to the south of the landfill) is filtering out these contaminants. Below are some pictures from the most recent sampling I performed.

Now that there is data backing up the threat of this landfill to humans and the environment – and more pending – there is greater evidence to demand action. Government and City officials do not seem to care enough to bother, and it seems a greater profile needs to be raised. It is time to get the community involved, and I am taking steps towards this. Please contact me at if you know anything about the history of this site or are interested in getting involved in any regard.


Anonymous said...

i believe a bulldozer or front end loader came through the area about 1-1 1/2 mnths ago there was a large pile of gravel half way down the road coming sraight in on rathburn st
i figured it was for improving the dog walking paths
one week later i walked down the path were the gravel was
no sign of it but the path which vears to the right & continues to the leachate site was torn open & many trees & vegetation torn up & destroyed it looks awful & i didnt think the city would have done this as they have always done a fine job at the dog park
this continues to the leachate site if you walk west along the path you can clearly see the devastation the tire tracks were & still are visible
can not say for sure but i believe it was the townhouse developer ????

Harmony said...

Yes, I believe you are correct. If you look at the previous post ("Absolute Chaos"), I tried to capture pictures of those changes. Tire tracks were difficult to catch. There were no signs of who could have done this, but along with destruction of the path and nearby vegetation both monitoring stations were torn up and vanished. Very strange!