History and archaeology
Parts of the Paisley-Clythe feedermain project corridor are near the Phoenix Mill on Waterloo Avenue, a designated heritage building built in stone before 1874. The mill building was expanded as the former Sterling Rubber Factory which operated between about 1912 and the 1970’s.
Before construction began, the City’s consultant MMM Group Limited commissioned Stage 1 and Stage 2 Archaeological Assessments stating these lands were used as landfill or dumping grounds, and recommended the York Street and Wellington Street corridor study area be considered free of any further concern for archaeological resources.
Former landfill – inactive dump sites
There are three historic landfill sites nearby where waste and/or fill could have been disposed of indiscriminately. The inactive dump sites are not engineered, are unlined and without synthetic containment barrier.
To test the site before excavation, the City conducted a geotechnical investigation with boreholes (test-pit samples) every 40-50 metres along the corridor; a sample taken 5 metres from Howitt Creek resulted in clean soil, another sample 75 metres from the creek resulted in clean soil.The eight drums of industrial solvent were found between those two samples.
Water testing and monitoring
The City regularly monitors the water supply to ensure Guelph water meets or exceeds Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards. Guelph’s drinking water is safe.
Chemicals found in the drums, pose no risk to Guelph’s water supply. Continued monitoring ensures that water delivered to homes and businesses is safe to drink and use.
Groundwater communities often record chemicals in low levels from historic land uses such as landfills or nearby manufacturing. Water quality tests conducted before construction showed low levels of benzene and toluene which posed no risk to our community or our water supply; concentrations were below Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards guidelines.
The results of pre-construction testing did not indicate any widespread contamination, nor give any indication that buried drums with chemicals were present and/or leaking.
- Paisley-Clythe feedermain project map (print quality)
- Questions and answers about drums on construction site
- September 15, 2014 – Further sampling and tests required before resuming work on watermain
- September 8, 2014 – Report identifies mixture of solvents found in buried drums
- September 5, 2014 – City removing eight buried drums from Wellington Street construction site
- September 4, 2014 – More drums unearthed on Wellington Street construction site
- September 3, 2014 – Unknown liquid unearthed during construction near Wellington Street
- About the project: York Trunk Sewer and Paisley-Clythe Feedermain
For more information
City Engineer, City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2248