Update: Clean up of blood red creek in Mississauga complete, cause of spill still unknown

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Published December 16, 2022 at 11:29 am

red creek mississauga
Photo by Lindsay Jennings

The clean up of a spill that made a Mississauga creek turn blood red this week is now complete.

Residents raised concerns when Cooksville Creek turned blood red this week. The City of Mississauga confirmed it was a spill but turned over the file to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

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The ministry’s Spills Action Centre first got a report about the creek from a resident on Dec. 11, said Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks spokesperson Gary Wheeler in an email to insauga.com.

Although the city said a polluter had taken responsibility for the spill, Wheeler indicated the ministry doesn’t know what the material was.

“The spilled material was traced back to a catch basin located along Haines Rd, Mississauga, however the cause of the spilled material is unknown at this time,” said Wheeler.

In an update, Wheeler said the spilled material was traced back to a catch basin at 2380 Haines Rd. where Synergy Waste Systems operates a waste site.

But the company does not accept liquid waste at the site and they were unaware of any spilled material, he said.

“The company suspects the spill on their site is the result of vandalism and/or illegal dumping,” he added. “The company is cooperating with ministry staff and retained a contractor to carry out clean-up activities.”

A Synergy Waste Systems contractor cleaned up the impacted ditch, neighbouring catch basins, as well as all the catch basins downstream leading to the creek.

On Dec. 13, the ministry completed sampling of the spilled material for analysis, he said. The results are pending.

Crews finished the clean-up of the spilled material, the impacted ditch, neighbouring catch basins, as well as all the catch basins downstream leading to the creek on Dec. 15, Wheeler said.

“The ministry did not observe any adverse effects.”

Wheeler added that the ministry takes all spills and threats to the environment very seriously.

“Our role is to respond to spills, inspect the natural environment for potential impacts, and work with those responsible to make sure the effects are mitigated and appropriate actions are taken to protect human health and the natural environment.”

People should report concerns to the ministry as soon as possible through any of the following options:

  • Call the ministry’s Halton Peel District Office at 905-319-3847 from Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm; or
  • Call the public reporting hotline which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-866-MOE-TIPS (663-8477); or
  • Use the online reporting tool at https://www.ontario.ca/page/report-pollution-and-spills.
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