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York/Durham Region in Ontario releases phosphorus reduction plan for its Duffin Creek Water Plant

An 18-month study prepared by CH2M Hill Canada recommends enhancing current treatment processes instead of adding additional stages.


The Regional Municipality of York and The Regional Municipality of Durham in Ontario, just North and East of Toronto, have released results of a study requested by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change on strategies to further improve the phosphorus discharge from the Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant (Duffin Creek Plant) entering Lake Ontario.

The Duffin Creek Plant, located in the City of Pickering, treats wastewater from residents and businesses in most of York Region, plus Ajax and Pickering residents and businesses in Durham Region.

Part of the plan was to determine the feasibility of achieving a permanent annual average concentration of 0.35 milligrams per litre (mg/L) of total phosphorus in the Duffin Creek WPCP effluent, as well as an annual average total phosphorus load of 190 kilograms per day (kg/d).

Spanning a period of 18 months, the Phosphorus Reduction Action Plan study was prepared by CH2M HILL Canada and recommends the plant enhance its current wastewater treatment processes instead of adding additional wastewater treatment stages.

The study included a peer review by an independent expert, Dr. David Jenkins, professor emeritus of the University of California Berkeley.