The incredible case of mysterious drums buried near the intersection of Wellington St. and the Hanlon Expressway has been a local curiosity since the first drum was dug up last fall. But whatever they are, and wherever they came from, the City of Guelph is saying that the site is officially clean, even if they still aren't revealing - or are just unsure - what or why they were buried in the first place.
According to a city press release, a total of 42 170-litre (45-gallon) metal drums were recovered from the site, 33 of them in the last month alone. While most of those 22 barrels were empty, two of them had some kind of liquid in them, and another was filled with both liquids and solids. Having said that tough, the city assures us that they've done extensive soil testing, which indicates that nothing harmful has been released into the local atmosphere. A special contractor was brought in to remove the drums and it's business as usual at the construction site, where a new watermain is being installed.
“The City is investigating all known historic landfill and dump sites. We will discuss our findings with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in order to plan and prioritize any future cleanup activities,” said Kealy Dedman, City engineer.
Hopefully that's the end of it, but it seems that every couple of months more drums are discovered, and much of that area has a very dubious history of environmental integrity due to industry based in the are in decades gone by. Time will tell if complete of construction is held up again because of another potentially disastrous ghost from the past.