There is a misconception that the effluent from the proposed Erin WWTP will “help the West Credit River” by cooling it in the summer. This misconception is based on observations from the Orangeville WWTP and the main Branch of the Credit River that do not apply to the West Credit River.
The Acton WWTP discharges into Black Creek, a coldwater creek similar to the West Credit River. Data collected by the Coalition show that the Acton WWTP makes Black Creek warmer in the summer and that the effluent remains warm into the fall.
Ontario’s Water Quality objective for effluent temperature is out of date and ineffective. Other jurisdictions protect Brook Trout with specific temperature limits. Why can’t Ontario do the same?
Inground infiltration of the effluent is a viable alternative to the direct discharge of 7.2 million litres per day of sewage plant effluent into the West Credit River.
Effluent temperatures is influenced by air temperatures. As the air temperature increases effluent temperature increases. The hottest effluent temperatures occur after consecutive hot days.
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Effluent temperature data for 5 southern Ontario wastewater treatment plants (Fergus, Georgetown, Acton, Orangeville, Shelburne) in summer 2021.
Effluent temperatures from 5 southern Ontario wastewater treatment plants in the summer of 2021 were above the 19 °C effluent discharge temperature assumed in the Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant Environmental Study Report (ESR).
Why the Coalition for the West Credit River is worried about thermal impacts of the Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Erin Wastewater Treatment Plant was not designated under the Impact Assessment Act. The areas of federal jurisdiction will be addressed by Provincial regulation and mitigation such as those in the Environmental Compliance Approval process.