August 18, 2003

Precautions still advised for recreational use of Tannery Creek

Newmarket C York Region officials still caution the public not to have contact with or consume water from the Tannery Creek and its tributaries. The Tannery Creek runs north from Aurora through Newmarket (Fairy Lake), Rogers Reservoir, and Holland River to Cook's Bay on Lake Simcoe.

The public is advised to continue refraining from swimming and fishing in the Creek. Persons who came in contact with the water after August 14th are asked to seek medical attention if they experience nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea, severe headaches, fever or skin rashes.

Raw sewage from the Aurora Pumping Station, located at St. John's Sideroad in the Town of Aurora, was discharged into the Tannery Creek as a result of a malfunction during the power outage during the evening of August 14th. The discharge was contained within two hours, and the Pumping Station has been operating normally ever since. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) was advised on August 17th of concerns of dead fish at Fairy Lake.

Staff from York Region , the Town of Newmarket, the MOE and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority are investigating the situation. Health Services personnel continue to conduct water sampling tests of the Creek from the site of the spill in Aurora to Queensville Sideroad and including Fairy Lake in Newmarket, as well as the Cook's Bay beaches.

As a precautionary measure, the following public bathing beaches in the Town of Georgina, along Cook's Bay at the south end of Lake Simcoe, remain closed until further notice:

Water supplies from municipal systems are safe to consume and are not affected by this advisory. Residents on private well water supplies are also not affected by this advisory. However, private wells affected by a power outage, such as pump failure, should be disinfected prior to reusing the water supply. Alternately boiled, bottled or municipally treated water can be used safely.

For further information contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at


The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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