Saturday, March 21, 2020


Firstly keep in mind these Region of Waterloo Annual Reports generally do not include HAA (Haloacetic Acid) and THM (Trihalomethane) results as they should. Those results are in the individual municipal reports (i.e. Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Woolwich Twp. etc.). One exception is the regional report for the Mannheim Water Treatment Plant which has a ton of HAA and THM results. Also keep in mind that both HAAs and THMs are by-products of the disinfection process (chlorine & chloramination) and that they are hazardous to our health.

The Strange St. Wells include K10A, K11A, K13, K18 and K19. Not all of these wells are located near Strange St. and the old Uniroyal Tire factory and are located further west towards the Westmount area. It is my opinion that industrial solvents certainly have impacted some of these wells in the past and thus I am not surprised at all with the shutdowns and closures including wells K13, K18 and K19 being offline for all of 2019. Well K10A was offline for fifteen weeks and K11A was offline for nine weeks as was the Strange St. Pumping Station during 2019.

Bacteria levels seem good although the maximum chlorine was 5.0 mg/l which well exceeds the criteria of three. Somehow this maximum avoided being flagged as an Adverse Water Quality Incident (AWQI) which I find strange. Sodium levels are also high at 79.8 mg/l. MDLs are high for ten chemicals including of course Glyphosate (Roundup) which has a Method Detection Limit of 25 parts per billion (ppb or ug/l). The chemical sampling dates are 2018 versus 2019 as one would expect with a 2019 Annual Report.

The Woolners Well System consists of three wells namely K80, K81 and K82. They rate their own Annual Report despite all three being shut down throughout 2019. If that seems strange then how about the fact that all the sampling dates are from 2010? That's right 2010. Without going back and digging through my paperwork I expect that this system has been shutdown for years. Maybe there's some advantage to the Region to not formally decommissioning them. These "river" wells are located along the Grand River downstream from the long discontinued Forwell Wells (K70 & K71) which are also "river" wells located directly downgradient from the former Breslube (now Safety-Kleen) factory in Breslau. And yes Dorothy, Breslube/Safety-Kleen can take credit for the K70 & K71 wells being removed from service.

The last system for the Kitchener Wells is the Mannheim Water Treatment Plant. In fact water from it and the Grand River are mixed with groundwater wells and are part of the IUS or Integrated Urban System which supplies water to Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Elmira, St-Jacobs and just recently Conestogo and West Montrose. This raw water is heavily contaminated with bacteria including E.Coli and Coliforms and is the most expensive to treat throughout the Region of Waterloo. The Middleton Wellfield is the most expensive groundwater (influenced by river water) system to treat in the Region. Further details next week, likely Monday or Tuesday.

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