Saturday, May 19, 2018


Disappointing to say the least. Disappointing in that the Region of Waterloo seem unable or unwilling to share information with the public about this water supply. On page 2 of 6 of the 2017 Annual Report (Drinking Water) they advise that the four supply wells WM1, 2, 3 & 4 were taken out of service in August 2017 because the "treatment plant has been shutdown while significant upgrades take place.". Then we are advised on the next page that there has not been equipment installed, repaired or replaced and further more that no significant expenses were incurred. Really?

A further study of this six page report only confirms that the four supply wells were out of service (offline) for 18 weeks in 2017. Zero mention why or where the water in the taps of residents is coming from. I'm willing to bet that many West Montrose residents don't even know that the Region made the decision a few years back to permanently (thank God) shut down the four "river" wells and hook West Montrose up to a pipeline that runs over to Conestogo and from there tie it in at St. Jacobs with the water pipeline running from Waterloo up to St. Jacobs and Elmira.

So where currently is West Montrose's water coming from? I don't think that the pipeline is completed but I could be wrong. This Annual Report (drinking water) is the place to tell us. It doesn't. The alternative which has also been used for several years in conjunction with the four wells is multiple tanker loads of water per day brought in by the Region and discharged into the West Montrose treatment reservoir. This water comes from the IUS or Integrated Urban System which basically means it undergoes treatment at one of numerous water treatment locations and then is put into the integrated urban system which serves Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.

What we do know from this report is that the raw water in the "river" wells (WM1, 2, 3 & 4) is still polluted. This is hardly a shocker as it's been so likely from day one decades ago. Total Coliforms ranged from 0-65 in the raw water after membrane filtration to determine bacteria levels. E.Coli ranged from 0-3. E.Coli are the killer that ended seven lives in Walkerton in 2000 and made thousands sick, some with permanent health problems because of it. Justice Dennis O'Connor made it clear in his Inquiry Report that water supplies needed to be protected from the source to the end users taps. This he referred to as the multiple barrier system. Having known contaminated source water and relying upon failsafes further down the line to treat the water contravenes both the spirit and the intention of the O'Connor Inquiry and Report.

I hesitate to condemn the Region of Waterloo by suggesting that West Montrose residents have been serviced for decades by a third world water supply system. Prior to construction of so many homes on septic service upgradient from the river wells, likely the Coliforms and E.Coli were only seasonal problems more associated with flooding in the Grand River. The septic systems combined possibly with the upriver trailer park simply would have greatly exacerbated the bacteria problems associated with surface water such as the Grand River infiltrating into the wells.


  1. They were informed by myself and others long ago. The left hand washes the right. MOECC and Region of Waterloo occasionally scrap but not very often.

  2. Regarding resolution see my second and third paragraphs. As far as not listening they all listen but to save face make the repairs and adjustments without acknowledging citizens' input and advice.