Environmental testing on Menzie, Audrey, Lawrence and laneway starts in October

Guelph, Ont., October 15, 2019—The City has hired a consultant to install and take samples from soil vapour probes on Menzie, Audrey and Lawrence Avenues, and on the laneway between Lawrence and Victoria Road South.

Soil vapour sampling is being done to test for the presence of a chemical called trichloroethylene (TCE). The City discovered the presence of this chemical while doing routine testing for the York trunk sewer project, and is now working to get additional data on TCE in soil vapour in this area.

The health and safety of Guelph residents is the City’s top priority. There are no immediate risks to human health based on initial sampling results. The City is working in consultation with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (Public Health) and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to evaluate the results of the soil vapour sampling and to determine if further action is needed.

We will update residents in this neighbourhood and our wider community when the results become available, which is expected to be in early 2020.

What to expect

The City has requested utility locates before the drilling begins. This involves workers from various underground infrastructure owners (gas, telecommunications, water and sewer) visiting and marking the ground to indicate the location of underground services.

Once the utility locates are complete, workers will use drilling machines to install soil vapour probes. Installation of the probes will take about three weeks, and the consultant will return to take samples from the probes on a periodic basis. All probes are being installed on public (City of Guelph) property.

There are no road closures associated with the work. People are asked to drive with care around workers.

About trichloroethylene

TCE is used mainly as an industrial solvent for degreasing and cleaning metal parts. TCE can also be present in products like wood finishes, furniture polishes, stainless steel cleaners, adhesives, paint removers, paints, stain removers, and agricultural chemicals.

Public Health, in consultation with MECP, has reviewed the information currently available and has concluded that health effects from TCE exposure are unlikely. The City will continue to work in consultation with Public Health and the MECP as we move forward.

Area of work

Map showing the location of environmental testing on Menzie Avenue, Audrey Avenue, Lawrence Avenue and the laneway between Lawrence Avenue and Victoria Road South.

For more information

Terry Gayman, Acting General Manager/City Engineer, Engineering and Transportation Services
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 2369 
terry.gayman@guelph.ca