Kettle Creek and its tributaries flow in Southwestern Ontario, through parts of London and St. Thomas. The creek empties into Lake Erie at Port Stanley.
The water in Port Stanley Harbour and Kettle Creek offers many benefits: a tributary of Lake Erie (a source of drinking water for many Southwestern Ontario residents), it provides water to support nearby agriculture, we enjoy it for recreation and it is home for many types of aquatic life.
Shamrock Chemicals manufactured fertilizers on a property near Kettle Creek from 1970 to 1985. Before that – from about 1947 to 1958 – an oil gasification plant operated on the same site. Oil tar and other contaminants from this abandoned site were moving into the nearby Kettle Creek, affecting its water quality and ecosystem.
In the mid-1990s, the Ministry of the Environment cleaned up the Shamrock Chemicals site and oversaw the cleanup of other neighbouring industrial properties to stop contamination from moving off the properties into Kettle Creek.
Since the cleanup, the ministry has been actively monitoring the water in Kettle Creek to ensure it meets quality standards. We invite you to explore the rest of this section to learn more about our efforts and how we are keeping the community involved and informed.
The ministry properly closed 14 historic monitoring wells on the site in 2010. The wells installed by the ministry during the site cleanup were beyond their useful life and legislation required that they be properly closed.
Transport Canada transferred the ownership and operation of Port Stanley Harbour to the Municipality of Central Elgin on September 8, 2010. The transfer included a one-time $13.6 million contribution from Transport Canada to fund the harbour's operation, which includes dredging the harbour, and repairing or reconstructing the pier/breakwater. In addition, Transport Canada will clean up the "berm" lands on the east side of the harbour so they can be used for parks.
More information on this transfer is available on the Municipality of Central Elgin's website.