A new study says drinking water in parts of southern Ontario contains traces of several illegal drugs – including cocaine.

Researchers at McGill University found water discharged from waste-water treatment plants in the Grand River watershed has the potential to contaminate sources of drinking water with drugs such as morphine, cocaine and oxycodone.

The study – published in the journal Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry – says the drugs are found only in relatively limited quantities in the river water.

However, it notes their concentration did not decline with distance downstream from the waste-water treatment plant and says many of the drugs were not removed completely during drinking-water treatment.

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