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E.coli at worst-ever levels in Lake Ontario: advocacy group

Last Updated May 5, 2017 at 2:55 pm EDT

Recent water samples taken from Lake Ontario show the worst levels of contaminants and E.coli that one advocacy group has ever seen.

“Our tests show that bacteria levels in the Toronto harbour are quite literally off the charts,” Krystyn Tully, of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, said on Friday.

“‘Too numerous to count’ is the technical result that we’re getting. Bacteria levels are at least 30 times higher than federal standards for the protection of boaters and at least 300 times higher than provincial standards for the protection of swimmers.”

Tully said it’s mostly because of the heavy rain, which carries sewage into Lake Ontario and into creeks and rivers. She also said the city’s infrastructure is to blame.

The City of Toronto is already bracing for a huge traffic impact because of the weather.

Toronto and the GTA are expected to receive 50 to 77 millimetres of rain by Saturday. The DVP could be closed for Friday’s evening commute; the Richmond Hill GO train might divert, missing two Toronto stops; and ferries to and from the Toronto islands are cancelled, except for the ferry to Ward’s Island, and that one is only for essential travellers.