A group of residents in Wellington County have come together to raise concerns about the dumping of construction dirt in their community.

When new construction goes up, piles of dirt ‘fill’ are pulled out of the ground to make room.

The fill has to be dumped somewhere – and in some cases, it ends up in Wellington County, with landowners paid to take it.

“Any broker or any person who wants to bring fill from the Greater Toronto Area … they can do what they will,” says Anna Spiteri, who says she’s concerned about the potential for fill to impact drinking water quality.

Municipalities can enact their own regulations against fill dumping.

In the Town of Erin, a bylaw forbids anyone from dumping more than 20 loads of fill within one year – but Mayor Lou Maieron says the town hasn’t received a single application.

“It’s quite difficult. We’re just outside communities where a lot of growth is occurring,” he says.

Spiteri says she understands fill needs to be dumped somewhere and isn’t opposed to it – she’d just like to see more regulation.

“Ultimately, we want the provincial government to step up … to deal with this problem that they created,” she says.

Maieron agrees – saying he’s not concerned about people using fill to build a driveway or fill a hole, but would like to see something done about large-scale fill dumping.

“When you get into 5,000 loads of fill, that becomes a community concern,” he says.

“I think the province needs to step in. They’re the government which has brought in the intensification requirements.”

Spiteri says she’s heard similar concerns from community groups in Port Perry and Windsor, and hopes the issue will be prominent during upcoming municipal and provincial elections.

The Ministry of the Environment did not immediately return a request for comment.