Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Just tell us the truth. Stop sugar coating the extensive and pervasive results of industrialization and its' disgusting toxic waste disposal between the late 1800s and 1980. This waste disposal was to simply send solvents, pesticides and toxic waste water into the nearest ditch, canal, creek or waterway. More "enlightened" companies farther away from the Grand River and its' tributaries used waste lagoons, pits and ponds out behind their properties, presumably somewhat out of site. To this day Cambridge's (& Kitchener-Waterloo) groundwater is still contaminated with these carcinogenic compounds.

The Region of Waterloo's Annual (Drinking Water) Reports are out. They are on the Region's website under the headings of Environment, Water, Quality & Treatment. Up until this year you could access reports going back a decade or so. Those are now gone. I accept some blame for this. I have been posting here each year for the last several years my take on these reports. I also accept some credit for a new page at the start of these reports. It is a list of definitions of some of their shortforms and acronyms. Three years ago I and Woolwich Township went after the Region big time in regards to the disgrace of third world water supply in West Montrose. This included requesting that the Region clarify all their stupid acronyms on their Annual (drinking water) Reports.

A year or so ago I gave my opinion that the Middleton St. Wellfield was the most expensive water in the Region. This was based upon the amount of treatment necessary as well as the recent upgrades in 2013. An Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) was added to the treatment currently available. This is not to detract from the extensive treatment costs for Grand River water taken from the Hidden valley area and piped over to Mannheim for extensive treatment.

The Middleton Wellfield has always been problematic. It's right beside the Grand River and besides other nearby industries is blessed with Canadian General Tower (CGT) across the street. Among many other things CGT was credited with adding phalates to the sediments in the Grand River beside their plant. Since the addition of AOP in 2013 I've been watching Trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations carefully in their Annual Report for this wellfield. Back in 2009 TCE was found at concentrations ranging from 2.3 to 4.4 parts per billion (ppb) with most results in the 3.4 Area. By 2011 they ranged from 1.8 to 2.9 ppb. with most results in the 2.6 Area. 2013 had TCE ranges of .7 to 3 ppb. with most results in the 1.4 Area. Three wells have historically been the source of TCE (& more) into the Middleton Well System. Based upon six different wells now being part of this system I had believed that a significant amount of dilution and mixing of well water was going on. I refer to this as managing pollution not fixing it.

Now here's where it gets a little weird for me. They've got a new multimillion dollar system. A little fine tuning and operator experience usually can maximize the potential of a new water treatment system. By 2014 TCE ranged from 1.2 to 1.9 ppb. in the Middleton Wellfield results. Most results were in the 1.6 ppb. area. Hmm, this is higher than the previous year.

2009 - 3.4 *********************************************************************************************************************
2011 - 2.6 *********************************************************************************************************************
2013 - 1.4 *********************************************************************************************************************

2014 - 1.6 *********************************************************************************************************************

In 2015 the TCE results were between 1.1 and 1.9 ppb. with the most results in the 1.4 ppb. Area.

Now the most recent data ie. for 2016. We have results between 1.13 and 1.6 ppb. with most results in the 1.3 to 1.4 area. After three plus years of running this system have they hit diminishing returns of TCE removal from Cambridge's drinking water? Or in the alternative are they using this system to manage contamination rather than to eliminate it? Is the cost ever increasing to reduce TCE concentrations closer to zero and they've made a management decision to accept greater health care costs down the road for the alleged one or two in a million increased cancers? With over 40% of our population now able to EXPECT cancer at least once in their lifetimes the so called risk assessment numbers have never impressed me.

Tomorrow I'm going to post in regards to the concentrations of TCE in the Middleton St. wellfield in the 1980s and 1990s. It is not good. I will also add a few concentrations of other toxic solvents to let you know what you've already been exposed to. Cancer sometimes takes decades to develop. Past toxic exposures do not "toughen" you up. They make you more likely to succumb to current even lower exposures of these toxic substances.

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