Saturday, July 29, 2017


O.K. both good and possibly problematic issues are in the Township's letter. The biggest good thing is that Woolwich Township are offering to do methane monitoring in homes on High St. and George St.. They refer to it as "indoor air monitoring" but they are referring to monitoring for methane. While I would characterize that as doing their due diligence and abiding by the Precautionary Principal, I would also advise that methane monitoring is very much hit and miss. For example many gas probes around the Landfill have high levels of methane on one round of monitoring and the next time can show zero methane. Similarly indoor monitoring of your homes may get a hit today and a zero the following week. Hence "hit and miss".

I would also suggest that the Township's offer should extend to Charles St. as well as High and George St.. This is even more important as Waterloo North Hydro have just this spring and summer done extensive subsurface trenching up and down High St. and Charles St.. As soon as I found out about the long term methane issues I contacted Waterloo North Hydro essentially to no avail. These subsurface trenches and pipes may very well provide a preferential and relatively easy pathway for methane to travel further from the Landfill. Or they may not. At this point in time we do not know for certain.

There are seasonal patterns and variability regarding methane migration. The last sentence of the first page of the Township's letter suggests that the gas (methane) probes "...need to be ideally measured when the groundwater is at its lowest elevation and methane emissions/pressure are more likely to show up during monitoring.". O.K. based upon the history of gas probes constantly being flooded by groundwater ( occasionally by surface water) I can understand the logic in this sentence. Clearly the gas probes around the north, west and east side of the Bolender Landfill have been susceptible to high groundwater levels blocking the inlet holes designed to draw in landfill gas. That said there is however another issue. Conestoga Rovers claim in one of their many reports that methane gas is more likely to migrate in the winter months! Holy crap that is not good news. It's not good news because the way the system is built and designed "Probes Not Found" and "Probe Not Measured (Flooded)" occurs most often between December and April exactly when the methane gas is at its' most active. Therefore measurements taken in the dead of the summer (July & August) when probes can be found, groundwater is lower and it's easier conditions for staff, might actually be the time of year when methane levels are lowest.

The other both good and problematic issue in the Township's letter is the admission that there are "elevated methane levels in proximity to his building ..." on Arthur St.. O.K. if there are elevated methane levels on the west side of the Landfill today then why don't you think there are elevated levels on the east side? Methane generally travels outwards from a landfill and there is no solid or overpowering evidence to suggest that it has suddenly stopped travelling eastwards (or northwards or southwards).

Much more and much better needs to be done. The township's letter is but the first step.

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