Wednesday, June 6, 2018


Everybody know that Uniroyal and their successors (Crompton, Chemtura and Lanxess) bear responsibility for incredible damage to the Canagagigue Creek (the "Gig") which runs from well north of the Woolwich Dam down to the Grand River just below West Montrose. What many informed people may suspect is that they have also damaged the Grand River below the mouth of the Canagagigue and possibly further downstream. The question is whether this is based upon common sense, extrapolation of monitoring within the creek just prior to it joining the Grand or possibly actual readings/monitoring within the Grand River that can be attributed back to the Canagagigue.

The first two certainly are part of it but there has been rigorous and scientific evidence proving damage to the Grand River in the stretch immediately below the incoming Canagagigue Creek. This was done in a report titled "Biological Survey of the Grand River and its Tributaries 1966". A second report done in 1982 and titled "Grand River Basin Management Study" also documented injury and damage to the Grand River courtesy of Woolwich Township industries. This included both from the Canagagigue Creek as well as from Breslube (now safety-Kleen) in Breslau. The first report was written by the Ontario Water Resources Commission (OWRC) and the second by the Ontario Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.) in conjunction with the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA).

The following information comes from the 1966 report. It states that at Station Ca13 in the "Gig" just upstream of the Grand River that while there was some improvement in fish species found due to an incoming small tributary nevertheless it was not a normal fish community and furthermore " species of fish disappeared from the Grand River at Station G11, below the point of entry of Canagagigue Creek into the Grand." Added to this monitoring was the information that "The influence of impaired water from Canagagigue Creek was detected chemically at Station G11 on the Grand River. At that location the level of BOD, nutrients and solids increased." These three parameters are commonly used to pinpoint source areas of contamination whether chemical or agricultural such as fertilizers or manure.

The most recent and extensive testing last year by the M.O.E. was all about the Canagagigue Creek particularly Dioxin/Furans and DDT. It did not extend unfortunately into the Grand River nor did it look at the myriad numbers of other toxic chemical parameters in the creek.

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