Robert's Rants
Robert's Rants
A personal blog on the Canadian pesticide industry and other pet peeves and interests

Fires and fish kill….never good.

The city of Toronto has just had an environmental event with contaminated water breaching a local waterway that feeds into Lake Ontario.

A large chemical supplier/warehouse catches fire, and in order to contain the 7 alarm inferno from other chemical warehouses a vast amount of water was thrown at the blaze.

The end result was a river of ash and sludge and dirty fire water that took the normal route all water takes in this area, downstream through gutters to storm drains to the Mimico Creek watershed and into Lake Ontario.

And the oils, lubricants and fluids went with the water, all of which are highly toxic to fish and other aquatic flora and fauna.

Just like all of the pesticides we store and use.

The AWSA, or Ag Warehouse Standards Association, which Gardex is a member of, oversees the warehousing of pesticides as an Industry. The Ag Chemical industry, or pesticides to be specific.

Their recommended policy is “let it burn” if a pesticide or fertilizer facility goes up in flames. Let the chemical go into the atmosphere instead of the water system.

Makes sense, unless you’re in a populated area, where if you didn’t contain the fire it would jump from one chemical warehouse to the next, then the fire is so far gone ”let it burn” turns to ”run like hell”

So honestly there is no clear answer besides minimizing the risk that started the fire. Someone making judgement calls.

And if it goes up, wont it come back down? Somewhere? Oh, maybe thats better.