The Don River

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THE DON RIVER

The Don River has always played an important part in the development of the city of Toronto. It actually cuts right down the centre of the city. This river was once rich with many species of fish, wildlife, and plants. Today, it is obvious that it is extremely polluted due to human activity. The ways in which the Don River gets polluted are many. The examples of polluters damaging the Don River are residential areas/houses, parks, roads, golf courses, cemeteries, industries/factories, and shopping centers/malls. Since trees are cut down in order to clear the land, and asphalt/concrete is laid down for roads and sidewalks, not all of the rainwater is being absorbed into the ground naturally. Therefore, most of the rainwater is flowing down very fast into sewers and pipes that lead into the Don River. This makes the water levels higher than usual and erodes the river banks. Besides that, this water (runoff) is taking street and road litter/pollution with it, damaging the Don River, making it unclean. Throughout the Don River’s watershed, storm sewers are continuously dumping polluted rainwater, making about 80% of the river’s total flow. However, in many of the older regions of Toronto, sewers that carry both the sanitary sewage from homes (i.e. bathroom and kitchen waste water) and the rainwater from storms, flow through the same pipe. The danger here is that these pipes overflow during heavy storms and spill raw sewage right into the Don River. High levels of toxic chemicals such as phosphorus, nitrates, E. Coli, and heavy metals, all can be measured in the Don River. Houses and golf courses also play a big part in polluting the Don River by the pesticides, insecticides, weed killer, etc. put on the average house lawn and golf course to keep it deep green. There is a big problem because all of these pesticides are seeping deep into the ground and eventually making their way into the Don River, poisoning and...
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