Project Description

Trent University and Simon Fraser University

August 2016

Trent University and Simon Fraser University

* Grant awarded for the Impact of Wastewater Treatment Plants on Brook Trout and Rainbow Trout

Project objectives:

To evaluate the impacts that wastewater treatment plants may pose to the local salmonid populations. There are currently three wastewater treatment plants that are located on the Credit River and its tributaries, supporting the cities of Acton, Georgetown, and Orangeville. Such facilities treat municipal and industrial wastewater from the local urban areas. In these areas downstream from the wastewater treatment plants live a variety of fish species. Of the species of salmonids that live in the Credit River and its tributaries, Brook Trout are of particular interest for this project. Brook Trout inhabit only pristine environments, in cold water habitats. They are unable to tolerate moderate to high levels of pollution. Local Brook Trout populations along the tributaries of Lake Ontario have been disappearing and there are a number of factors that are the cause of this issue: introduction of invasive species; an increase in water temperature; eutrophication; and an increasing amount of pollutants. Wastewater treatment plants have been known to place a variety of pressures on fish communities. There are thousands of chemicals that are poured down municipal drains as wastewater. Their destination is inevitably the city’s treatment facility.