Report identifies mixture of solvents found in buried drums

Meeting set to discuss next steps for construction on former landfill

Guelph, ON September 8, 2014 – A report identifying the chemical make-up of the liquid found buried on a local construction has been submitted to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).

Last week, crews discovered eight 170-litre (45-gallon) drums buried on a construction site near the Wellington Street/Hanlon Expressway interchange. The drums had leaked, and the City pumped and removed 34,700 litres of liquid from the site; a mixture of rainwater and solvents. The City is also removing contaminated soil from the area.

The City hired MMM Group Limited to analyze the contents of the drums and the surrounding soil, and report the results to the MOECC. According to the report, the drums contained a mixture of common substances used in fuels, as solvents, or in manufacturing such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and styrene.

The City also hired Airzone to monitor air quality, and has submitted all test results to the MOECC and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

The area has a history of industrial activity, and was a former landfill site in the 1950s. The City conducted geotechnical scans every 40 to 50 metres before beginning construction, and a more detailed radar scan was conducted last week. The scan shows metal and other debris is still buried in the area, and it is possible more barrels could be found.

“Crews will stop working in this area as we consult with the Ministry,” said project engineer, Majde Qaqish. “A meeting is set for Thursday, September 11 to discuss next steps for construction on the site.”

The City will continue posting updates about this project at guelph.ca/construction

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Media contact

Kealy Dedman
City Engineer, City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2248
kealy.dedman@guelph.ca