The Majority Are Concerned By Sewage in Lake Ontario

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The Majority Are Not Concerned By Sewage in Lake Ontario

But the plurality say they are more likely to change their summer swimming habits because of it

Toronto, June 27th – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 1040 Toronto voters, the majority (55%) say they are concerned about the fact that partially treated sewage was dumped into Lake Ontario in response to heavy rain, referred to as “bypassing.” Only (14%) say they are unconcerned about the release, while a quarter (25%) say they are neither concerned nor unconcerned about the city’s bypassing during heavy rain storms. Only (6%) said they do not know.

Respondents most likely to be concerned include those 55-64 (60%) or 65+ (62%), females (58%), earning $60,000-$80,000 (58%), $80,000-$100,000 (58%), or the wealthiest (57%), with a college or university degree (60%), living in North York (57%) or Scarborough (59%), and supporting John Tory (60%), or the NDP (66%) or Green Party (64%).

Respondents most likely to say they are unconcerned include those aged 34 and younger (19%), males (16%), the least wealthy (21%), the least educated (27%), supporting Doug Ford (17%), and the provincial Liberals (18%).

Summer swimming habits more likely to change

The plurality of respondents (42%) did say that they are more likely to change their summer swimming habits. Slightly more than a third (35%) said that their swimming habits wouldn’t change, and (12%) said they are less likely to change their swimming habits in response to the sewage bypasses. One tenth (10%) of respondents said they do not know.

 “The constant downpours of the spring and early summer have thrust sewage bypasses into the news,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research. “The majority are concerned about partially treated sewage dumped into the lake and more than four in ten say their summer swimming habits are more likely to change in response.”

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.