If You Think It Won’t Affect You, Think Again!

If this practice takes hold, it will only spread and the negative impact can be far-reaching and lasting.   

It only takes a relatively small percentage of loads in any given site to cause site contamination. Worse, all it takes is one unscrupulous contractor to dump loads that he/she knows to be contaminated in unsuspecting communities because, in doing so, he/she avoids the costs associated with taking it to a designated site. The community is left to deal with the environmental damage and costly cleanup. The consequences can include:

Groundwater contamination 

Harmful and potentially toxic substances percolate down through the soil to the ground water table. Once there, they can easily contaminate wells across an extended area.

Surface water contamination

Harmful substances and chemicals are washed, perhaps as a result of a heavy rainfall, into a nearby river or stream making the water harmful to plants and wildlife.

Wetland contamination

If a contaminated site is too close to a wetland or marsh, potentially toxic substances can make their way into the marsh where they can foul the water and be taken up by the plant life. This can either kill the vegetation or foul it so that wildlife becomes sick when they consume it.

Soil contamination
The contaminants in the soil make it unfit for use as farmland. If the site isn’t remediated, planted crops will absorb any toxins, which then can potentially enter the food chain. 

Dust and audible nuisance

Hundreds of dump trucks rumbling down our country roads create incessant noise and dust if the roads aren’t paved. Furthermore, bulldozers used to grade the dumpsite make the dust and noise problem much worse for immediate neighbours.

Impact on Arable farmland

Rural areas feed cities. The Town of Erin is in the provincial greenbelt, established to protect valuable farmland. Dumping of fill is a commercial opportunity for a few, while often destroying valuable, diminishing cropland.

Soil erosion

Unconsolidated fill will mix with rainwater to clog and plug waterways and run onto neighbouring properties.

Potential liability issues and costly lawsuits

History has shown repeatedly that in situations like this, the party responsible often can’t be found or can’t be held accountable due to vague and weakly enforced regulation. Contamination is also usually discovered well after the fact so costly site remediation and any potential lawsuits brought by affected property owners are usually borne by taxpayers.

Deterioration of roads 

Relentless truck traffic on roads that weren’t designed or built to withstand that kind of heavy use will deteriorate at an accelerated rate resulting in increased maintenance and repair costs.

Road safety 

On many country roads, visibility often isn’t the best and there are frequent stop signs. Big dump trucks often roll through stop signs, travelling at high speed because, to them, time is money.  That significantly increases the safety risks, especially during the school year.

Disruption of wildlife habitat and corridors

Deer, coyotes, raccoons and other wildlife are forced to change their travel patterns to circumvent a dumpsite that used to be an open field.

Reduced property values

Living next to a contaminated dumping site is difficult enough but if you own the property adjacent to one, the value of your property can often drop significantly.