May 20, 2004

York Durham Sewage System - Protecting the Environment

NEWMARKET - The York Durham Sewer System (YDSS) was constructed by the Ministry of Environment in the early 1970s. This was in response to growing environmental concerns with small local treatment plants discharging treated wastewater to watersheds such as the Humber River and the Rouge River.
The YDSS directly benefited these watersheds by providing a comprehensive wastewater management strategy focused on improving water quality in the natural environment.
The YDSS is an integrated system of transmission pipes and pumping stations that direct sewage from the major urban communities of York Region to a treatment facility on Lake Ontario located in Pickering.
A comprehensive environmental assessment process is undertaken to mitigate environmental impacts for all construction projects. 
Outlined below are some of the environmental benefits of servicing growing communities with the YDSS:
 The YDSS has contributed greatly towards improving the water quality in the Great Lakes Basin.
 Continuing with the YDSS approach is the most environmentally-responsible strategy compared to the next best alternative of numerous small local treatment plants.
 Deep gravity sewers have the lowest risk of failure
 In response to concerns raised on the 16th Avenue Trunk Sewer; Phase Two, the Region has already committed to as much as $10 million in environmental and well mitigation measures to assist with temporary construction impacts.
 The 24 to 36-month construction phase will provide service benefits to affected communities for the next 100 years.
 The environmental monitoring program for the 16th Avenue projects includes regular monitoring of intermediate aquifer water levels, shallow water levels, creek levels, fish species surveys, vegetation surveys, wetland surveys and more.
 Creeks near the 16th Avenue project are monitored for water chemistry, fish, and water levels
For more information on this issue, please link here.
Contact:   Nancy Vosylius/Corporate Communications, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1226
- Email:

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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