Toronto Water has a comprehensive plan to safeguard against and manage potential chemical spills or releases that meets Environment Canada's Environmental Emergencies Regulation (E2). The plan, which is tested regularly, includes protocols for the storage of chemicals used to treat drinking water and wastewater, such as chlorine. It also ensures all facilities are equipped with robust response systems to manage environmental impacts and protect public health. This includes gas detection, emergency alarms, leak containment, and scrubber systems that collect and neutralize harmful gases before they are released.
In the unlikely event of a chemical spill or release, Toronto Water will work closely with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the City of Toronto's coordinating agency for emergency and disaster activities.
Response and recovery activities are governed by the City's Emergency Plan, which details how the City mobilizes in a crisis and ensures all City organizations, emergency response services and key agencies, are aware of their roles and responsibilities. This includes leads such as Toronto Police Services, Toronto Fire, and Toronto Public Health who may request impacted populations to evacuate or take shelter-in-place depending on the potential health impacts, such as inhalation and/or skin contact hazards.
In the unlikely event of an environmental emergency, the City of Toronto, in conjunction with the Office of Emergency Management, will work with front line staff, such as 311, and media (i.e. radio, television, print) to ensure residents understand the steps to take to protect their health, safety and welfare. Regular updates will also be posted on the City's website at www.toronto.ca and disseminated through social media.