New $40 million storm treatment facility planned to reduce phosphorus levels in Lake Simcoe

york publicity photo
The Region of York and federal government announced combined funding of $40 million for a storm water treatment facility in Georgina that will reduce Holland Marsh runoff into Lake Simcoe. (Supplied photo/Regional Municipality of York earlier published in Newmarket Today.)

The federal government will contribute $16 toward the cost of a new storm water treatment plant to reduce runoff from the Holland Marsh into Lake Simcoe – the largest inland lake in southern Ontario outside of the Great Lakes.

“This project alone will reduce phosphorus runoff into Lake Simcoe by 40 per cent, cutting algae growth in the lake’s watershed, preserving fish habitat and protecting a major source of drinking water,” said Catherine McKenna, minister of infrastructure and communities.

“We simply have to invest now in infrastructure that protects Canadians, our environment, and the biodiversity of our ecosystems.”

The Lake Simcoe watershed is home to more than 435,000 people.

A new storm water treatment facility will reduce runoff from Holland Marsh and protect the lake’s watershed from excessive algae growth and provide protection for the region’s aquatic habitats, ecosystem biodiversity, and protect drinking water sources.

Canada is investing $16 million through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF). York Region is contributing $24 million to the project. The project is expected to save $5.38 for every dollar invested.

The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a $2-billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts.

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority has identified the Marsh as a critical point load of phosphorus, contributing an average of six tonnes a year.

The release of excess phosphorus from agriculture, such as fertilizer, places the Lake Simcoe Watershed at risk of eutrophication that can irreversibly destroy aquatic habitats and ecosystem biodiversity.

“Clean water is vital to the health of our environment and communities. The Government of Canada is proud to partner with York Region to help protect Lake Simcoe with this major investment. These investments will create jobs today that help protect our region’s environment and drinking water for our future,” said Deb Schulte, King-Vaughan MP.


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