Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Now this was the first well attended Public Information Centre I've seen in the last three that I've attended. It was held last evening at Abraham Erb Public School on Laurelwood Dr. in Waterloo. I would estimate about 15 to 20 people were present and at least one besides myself was very busy asking pertinent and relevant questions. This is understandable because I noticed a chart showing drawdown cones which indicate how many metres the surface of the aquifer is lowered while full pumping is going on. Whatever the merits of new wells in North Waterloo, if they are anywhere near your private well, there certainly would be an effect.

The boundary area for this study is approximately Benjamin Rd. in the north, Wilmot Line in the west and the expressway to the east. The southern boundary appears to be Columbia Rd. If nothing else this expansion and increase of our groundwater supply is probably good news in that it makes me think that Lake Erie water is still a long way off.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Last Tuesday June 22/10 in the Elmira Advocate I mentioned that I would be commenting further on the M.O.E.'s back door methods of removing onerous but environmentally appropriate regulations that had been put on proven polluters. The 1991 Control Order issued to Uniroyal Chemical was such a document. It was the "bible" as far as Elmira activists were concerned, in order to clean up the Uniroyal site . It ordered 100% hydraulic containment in ALL aquifers (never been done much less attempted) and it ordered the removal of DNAPLS as a contaminant source with specific reference to the DNAPLS in the former operating lagoons in the south-west corner.


For years at public CPAC meetings when I or other CPAC members would try to hold the M.O.E. to this document, both they and Chemtura (Uniroyal) would wiggle and bullshit but NEVER, ever, did they say the simple words "We don't have to, it's been amended.". Not until the fall of 2007 when I was in the midst of appealing a proposed Certificate of Approval did the M.O.E. and Chemtura come clean. Since then I've dug into past documentation intensively and all I've found are repeated statements that Chemtura wanted a temporary EIGHT month amendment not a permanent one. Both Pat McLean and Susan Bryant in the fall of 2007 and the spring of 2008 stated publicly at CPAC that they had no knowledge of any Amendment to the 1991 Control Order as did I.

On May 12, 2008 I produced a five page document which went to CPAC and the media explaining all the details of this nefarious breach and betrayal of the public trust.

Is this one more example Pat of your penchant for private meetings and dealings with the company and Ministry (M.O.E.) or have you done nothing?

Monday, June 28, 2010


I"ve just returned home from a meeting on the 8th floor , Regional headquarters, Frederick St. Kitchener. The meeting was with myself, Kevin Eby and Bridgit Cody of the planning department. Mr. Eby referred to my appeal as technically a referral. My original letter of "appeal" to the Clerk of the Regional Council is posted on May 25/10 in the Elmira Advocate.

This issue is the ongoing, neverending, non cleanup of the highly contaminated Safety- Kleen site in Breslau (Woolwich Twn.). Upon request I advised these two folks of the inadequate Remedial Action Plan for the expanded Safety-Kleen site as well as the alleged "Indemnity" by the Region and the M.O.E.; which might explain their three decades of tolerance, indifference and misinformation surrounding this site.

I was advised of a Regional Planning Committee meeting on August 10/10 and then a Regional Council meeting on Thursday August 19/10 which will deal with my "referral" of OPA #15.(Official Plan Amendment)

Saturday, June 26, 2010


This website (Elmira Advocate) is helping me expand my horizons. I've never felt particularily competent in regards to growth and planning issues but I'm slowly learning and I'd like to share an excellent article with you. This is a link to today's Woolwich Observer (pg. 12) suggesting that although public transit is good, nevertheless there are better ways to improve the environment, save farmland and get a better bang for our taxpayer dollars.

Terry Pender of the K-W Record has produced an excellent article regarding uptown Waterloo development. Here is the link to his front page story. Although the overall story is positive there are some ominous undertones. "unlike many other factory owners in this region, the owners of Canbar cleaned up the site to the satisfaction of the Ministry of the Environment." Well I'm sorry but the M.O.E.'s standards are inadequate. We've had Trichloroethylene in Waterloo's drinking water for twenty five years (or more) and it's still there. This directly affects Waterloo and Elmira/ St.Jacobs residents adversely. Later in the article we are advised "The water table in this area is continually pumped to prevent the toxic plume from spreading and the Region of Waterloo has never been able to pinpoint the source of the contamination." Please see my post for yesterday regarding the Region's claim that they don't know the source of TCE in the Middleton wellfield in Cambridge. Both of these claims by the Region are BS! Also talk about shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. The "toxic plume" has already spread hundreds of yards to the William St. wellfield in Waterloo. Sure glad you are allegedly containing it a quarter of a century too late.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I attended the Public Information Centre at Westmount Public School on Glasgow St. in Kitchener last evening. "Pablum for the masses". Those words just now jumped into my mind. I'll get back to them. This public meeting was disappointing on a number of levels. Once again yours truly was the only member of the public present (7 pm.) with only two other names before me on the sign-in list. Secondly was the lack of handouts ie. hard copy/ written information. Thirdly I was disappointed by the superficiality. O.K. maybe that's a little strong as I understand that not all of us have a burning desire to know the details of our drinking systems. Or at least we don't until something goes wrong.

The Strange St. wells today are not the same wells that our forefathers drank from. It is the oldest wellfield in Kitchener and they've been drilling up Glasgow St. towards the Westmount area for some time. This is good because despite my specific question to a Regional hydrogeologist present; he claimed there were no issues with "organics" responsible for wells K12 and K17 being shut down. This is similar to the Region's claim in 2006 at open houses in regards to treatment being added at the Middleton wellfield (Cambridge) for Trichloroethylene; that they did not know who was responsible. That is pure unadulterated BULLSHIT.

The following organics were found at Well K12 in the 80's and 90's: Trichloroethylene, Trichloroethane, Toluene, Phenolics, Xylenes, Ethyl Benzene, pyrene, anthracene, and fluoranthene. It appears that rather than clean up the source or add improved treatment, it's simply easier and cheaper to lie and drill new wells.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Not bloody likely in this province. Locally we've had redevelopment/ cleanup at the old Voisin car dealership by Arthur and Church St., the removal and cleanup (gasoline) from beneath the Steddick Hotel, the extensive excavation and cleanup of the former Strauss Fuels across from the former Martin Pet Foods and the tearing down of Procast. I wonder how much of these cleanups were paid for by the polluter? Of course there was the removal of hundreds of tonnes of contaminated soil from Varnicolor Chemical and the ongoing (mostly talk) alleged "cleanup" at Chemtura (Uniroyal).

The reason I wonder about who paid the full cleanup costs is because if it wasn't the polluter then it was you and I the taxpayers. Have you heard of the Contaminated Sites Grant Program? It seems to be running full tilt in Cambridge and it entails grants of up to 100% of restoration costs including labour, materials, soil removal or destruction of contaminants. This program while run at the Municipal level has the involvement of the Province through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment. The Feds are also involved through Canada Mortgage and Housing. Here we have one more example of Externalization of costs whereby business and industry pass their costs and expenses onto the public purse. These are the governments that you and I elect to shaft us.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


There was a Public Notice (pg.27) in the Woolwich Observer concerning Lead service lines or pipes in our homes. Apparently it's a more significant issue in homes built prior to 1955 and for young children and or pregnant women. Lead as a contaminant either in air or drinking water is very serious as there are nuerological and cognitive adverse health effects possible. This was a major reason for removing it from gasoline years ago. I've done a tiny amount of research online but I feel that I'm missing some significant information. I would certainly recommend cooperation with this free program and testing especially if you're in the higher risk group mentioned earlier. If anyone out there has further information please comment here and share it with us.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


This monthly report was received about a week ago and is mandated by one of the Ministry of the Environment's Control Orders. Unfortunately as we have learned from bitter experience, a Control Order means little or nothing as the M.O.E. will alter, revoke or amend them at will (ie. the polluter's will) without proper public notice, public input and or proper clarity. In the near future I will describe the contemptible manner in which the M.O.E. amended the 1991 Control Order, which was supposed to provide that ALL contaminated groundwater on the Uniroyal (Chemtura) site did not travel offsite and further contaminate the natural environment.

Figure D.8 is certainly an improvement over dozens of CRA's past efforts to visualize Municipal Upper Aquifer (MU) containment on the Chemtura site. Perfection would be more downgradient (SW) contour lines which would hopefully demonstrate more clearly that the entire south-west corner of their site is hydraulically contained.

I've pointed out at PUBLIC Cpac meetings a number of errors in CRA's positioning of contour lines relative to their own data points. Now I must suggest that at the top of pg. 7 in the text that they've misnamed a well. Monitoring well pair OW63 / CH47E probably should be OW62 / CH47E. The more significant fact however is that CRA now wish to drop all 3 monitoring pairs. These 3 well pairs were introduced by CRA during the Ammonia Treatment System plans in the fall of 2007. Yours truly was the ONLY Cpac member who publicly stated that these well pairs were a scam in that they absolutely were horrible choices to allegedly determine hydraulic containment because CH97 was located where the MU was directly connected to the Upper Aquifer (UA). Also OW62 was located right beside PW4 (pumping well 4) and could hardly fail to always have a lower elevation than offsite CH47E thus allegedly "proving" hydraulic containment. Wilf Ruland (dependent hydrogeologist) and Susan Bryant; after I took Wilf through the technical details agreed with me PRIVATELY that these wells were problematic. The pair of them then conveniently ignored this in their rush to get me kicked off Cpac probably primarily due to my opposition to the ongoing and neverending (since 1991) DNAPL scam and investigations. My Ammonia Treatment System appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal was merely the excuse they used to remove me from Cpac and the DNAPL sub-committee. 2 3/4 years later, it appears that even CRA (Conestoga Rovers) are willing to admit that these monitoring pairs are useless for the purpose they were intended.

Pages 7 & 8 of the text do a lot of stickhandling to prove CRA's commitment to full hydraulic containment in the MU. It continues to gild the lily by alleging that the pumping rates "represent the highest ratio of off-Site to on-Site pumping". This is nonsense in that the on site pumping rates were only reduced the day before. Go for a month at reduced on site pumping and you'll see a much greater reduction in hydraulic containment.

Lastly on pg. 8 CRA claim to have the Bedrock Aquifer contained at well E7 in the south end of Elmira. Please explain to me CRA how this is possible when E7 is NOT screened in the Bedrock and there is an Aquitard (LAT) between the E7 wellscreen in the Municipal Lower (ML) and the Bedrock Aquifer.

I attended last evening's Public Information Centre #1, held at the St. Jacobs Community Centre. I had mentioned this upcoming meeting in the Elmira Advocate on Sunday June 13/10. My first impression upon entering the parking lot was wow, talk about a lack of public interest. There were two cars in the parking lot and when I entered the building a grand total of four people inside. Yup, you guessed it, all four were there working on behalf of the Region of Waterloo. The plus side of this was that the Staff in attendance were very friendly, sociable and helpful. Perhaps my understanding was a little flawed but I did expect a little more technical details, at least in the handout literature. What was presented on charts and in a handout I would refer to as the big picture with a minimum of specifics. I certainly hope that as the process continues that much more detail will be presented. I did fill in the questionaire and will be faxing it in today asking to be put on the project mailing list.

Monday, June 21, 2010


always has been and always will be. Today's K-W Record, Editorial and Comment Section, has an opinion piece by Charles Wohlforth which describes how the outcome as well as the perception of the Exxon Valdez oil spill was predetermined. Mr. Wohlforth sees parallels with the BP disaster still unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. Further we are advised that honest scientific study of the issues is routinely perverted and even intimidated by the powers that be. A typical excuse to confound, muzzle and distract scientific investigation is the mixing of litigation and science. Hence government secrecy and witholding of crucial information from scientists is defended by claiming that either a government or judicial investigation is underway or even that litigation against the guilty parties will somehow be jeopardized by proper independent scientific investigation. The reality is that government don't want all the information to be public because that might inhibit their backroom dealmaking with the polluter. The last two sentences are especially significant: "BP and the Federal government are to blame for the disaster. They shouldn't get to decide what truths are learned from it."

Does any of this ring a bell here in Elmira? Substitute Chemtura for BP and the Provincial government for the Federal government into the above quote. Backroom dealmaking is both the backbone and achilles heel of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. What has taken me decades to understand is how the lower tiers of government are on the same page and wavelength as the higher ones. Woolwich Township Council were a huge part of the problem twenty-one years ago as they still are. Their creation, CPAC is a committee of Council and completely under Council's control. This has not been a problem for CPAC because over the past decade they've weeded out dissent while promoting an honest improvement in air issues in Elmira, not at the expense of ground and surface water improvements but instead of them. Clearly behind the scenes the deal was made to trusted friends of the Chair and former Councillor Pat McLean that Chemtura and the Ministry's deal was a sacred cow that could not be amended. In order to back this up CPAC have long promoted the retaining of an allegedly independent hydrogeologist, who in reality is no more independent than a newborn on it's mother's breast. As happened in Alaska (Exxon Valdez) a scientist who revealed the "wrong" information, according to Charles Wohlforth both in his opinion piece and in his book, lost his contracts and was blacklisted. Do you really think that our Ministry of the Environment is any more ethical with hydrogeologists who are uncooperative?

This therefore is the reality in Elmira. We have and we will receive only crumbs towards groundwater cleanup, no matter how strong the science and truth is.

Following is a link to the K-W Record which gives an interesting comparison and overview regarding our local creek and river. Note that the Canagagigue has issues other than Chemtura (Uniroyal).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

ADDING HFSA TO YOUR DRINKING WATER I am providing readers with a link to a recent Health Canada report in regards to Fluoridating drinking water. I hope that you will read carefully the whole 6 page report rather than simply jump to the Conclusions and Recommendations. This is because of the numerous references in the report to health issues amongst some members of our society due to fluoridated drinking water. Secondly while I applaud Health Canada reducing the target concentration down to .7 mg/l (current maximum is 1.5 mg/l); I still feel strongly that we have no right as a society to endanger the health of the few for the possible benefit of the many. Alternatives which are acceptable to all include fluoridated toothpaste and fluoridated mouthwashes.
To my surprise the Waterloo friend who accompanied me to the public debate last Thursday is more offended by the involuntary aspect of medicating the population than he is in regards to the health issues. At the same time he assurred me that his recent first grandchild absolutely is not being fed fluoridated Waterloo water.

My second last point takes me back to my May 20/10 posting. There I have listed the number of fluoride exceedances (greater than 1.5 mg/l) in Waterloo over the last few years. My studies of drinking water in Waterloo Region have left me appalled and with very little confidence in the Region's water management. The provincial drinking water standards are a farce, based on the false assumption of one industrial chemical at a time in our drinking water. Meanwhile despite high Detection Limits and huge numbers of industrial chemicals untested and or unpublished, we still have a cocktail of low level toxic chemicals combined with higher levels of Trihalomethanes and Trichloroethylene in our drinking water. We don't have a clue as to any synergistic effects between them or with the Hydrofluorsilicic Acid being added.

My comment to the two dentists at last Thursday's meeting, pushing for involuntary addition of HFSA (Hydrofluoroslicic Acid) is this. If you are so keen to boost the health of the population, then rather than lobbying to add HFSA, how about lobbying to remove even just one serious toxin such as Trichlorethylene from the water. It can be removed either at source or at the treatment plant, perhaps with the same money you save by scrapping fluoridation.

Friday, June 18, 2010

This link is to a story in today's K-W Record. I attended last night's televised (Roger's Cable) debate in Waterloo and have but one disgreement with the excellent reporting done by Jeff Outhit. Make that two. His Editer should have given him more space because this is a worthy issue. Secondly Jeff said "Proponents said the credible science shows that adding fluoride limits cavities with no known health risks." If either of the two gentlemen said that exactly (which I dispute) then they lied. Yes they certainly downplayed the health risks and Dr. Hoediono repeatedly used the expression "in the right amount". This to me is at least a tacit admission that fluoride in the wrong amount is indeed a health problem. Furthermore both sides referred to a 2007 Health Canada document produced by an expert panel regarding water fluoridation. Although the panel recommended continuing Fluoridation of water supplies at a reduced concentration,
they gave multiple warnings and cautions because of HEALTH ISSUES arising from fluoridating the public water supply. These warnings and cautions included the issue of infants and toddlers exposure to possibly too much fluoride.

I will be commenting further on this issue which directly affects Woolwich Township and our drinking water.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Your tap water (especially Fergus) is NOT safe! Woolwich Township residents if you have any friends or relatives in Elora or Fergus, warn them not to drink the tap water. The following link just barely touches the extent of problems, going on for years and years. It's a very long report and the "good" stuff is approximately the second last page. The levels of TCE (Trichloroethylene) put even the William St. wells in Waterloo and the Middleton wells in Cambridge to shame. Then there are at least another dozen toxic chemicals (solvents & pesticides) at low levels in your water.

I've included Elora in this warning because it appears from the 2008 Centre Wellington Annual report that they've combined the two systems into one larger system. Is this how your politicians solve contaminated water, simply by diluting it?

I've been focusing on the Region of Waterloo, tap water issues and their Annual Reports. Let me make this very clear. As deceptive and misleading as the ROW's are, Centre Wellington's are more so.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the Region of Waterloo have played us for fools over the last twenty years plus. The only local, allegedly independent citizens they have spoken the truth to; are the very few who agreed up front, in exchange for future access to private meetings, to keep key information confidential. This key information is that Elmira's "NEW" water supply in 1992 was also badly contaminated with industrial chemicals from local K-W factories.

Three separate groups of reports covering the time period of 1998 to last year paint a squalid picture of our drinking water. The least squalid (and truthful) reports are the Region of Waterloo's Annual Drinking Water Reports that can be found on line under Region of Waterloo. They repeatedly show TCE (trichloroethylene) at about half the current drinking water standard while subtly ignoring all the other detections.

The other two sets of reports are via the the provincial M.O.E, under the Drinking Water Surveillance Program (DWSP). These older reports encompass 1998- 1999 and 2000- 2002. There are numerous detections of Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic acids. These are known as disinfection byproducts and are a toxic addition to our water, in order to remove bacteria via chlorination. Then there are another dozen toxic industrial chemicals, solvents and pesticides. Oh and less I forget, there's even a detection of NDMA in Waterloo water. These chemicals are both in the raw water and in the treated water as the Region focuses on bacteria treatment not industrial chemicals. These chemicals include TCE, TCA, PERC, DCE, DCA, Xylene, Styrene, Vinyl Chloride and Phenathrene. Some are only at trace levels while others are higher.

This is the chemical cocktail we've switched to. Now I understand why certain CPAC members have given up on cleaning Elmira's groundwater. Their focus is air because they know that pure drinking water no longer exists in industrialized, urban areas.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


This Public Information Centre (PIC) will be held at Abraham Erb Public School, 710 Laurelwood Dr., Waterloo on June 29/10 5:30- 8 pm.
This meeting is to present an evaluation of water supply alternatives in the North- West area of Waterloo. Waterloo could not go on indefinitely with population growth and with water quality issues at both the William St. wells and the Erb St. wells.
The relevance to Woolwich again goes back to our loss of our own wellfields twenty-one years ago and thus our dependence upon K-W water. How ironic that rural Elmira shut down our industrial polluted water in exchange for water from the twin cities which has been exposed to industrial contamination far longer than our's was.

Two stories in today's K-W Record caught my eye. They deal at best only indirectly with Woolwich issues, however the attitudes and principles affect us all. The first story deals with the BP oil spill in the Gulf and the second with "the dangers of laissez-faire regulation". Our very own Ontario Ministry of the Environment are big on "self regulation" and "voluntary reporting". It does not and never has worked.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Their 2009 Annual Environmental report was received today via courier. To my wee mind it is both good news and bad news. Firstly the bad news: Chemtura are emitting 90,000 kg. of pollutants (toxins) to the atmosphere on an annual basis. This for the non metric minded is about 90 Tonnes or nearly 100 tons. These pollutants include Toluene, Xylenes, Acetone, Ammonia, Diisobutylene, Butane, Propane and on and on. The other bad news is that Toluene, Xylenes and Nitrogen Oxides are at concentrations in the air of 88%, 79% and 57% of the Ministry of the Environment Point of Impingement Limit. In other words at their property line they are very close to being illegal.

Now the good news is substantial. Chemtura have reduced their air emissions since 1991 from 350 Tonnes per year to the current 90 Tonnes. Secondly their odourous emissions (fumigations) have been dramatically improved. Credit for this may go to Chemtura, or it may go to the Duke St. "rowdies" who sucessfully sued them eight or nine years ago. Finally credit should also be given to Gerry Heideburt and Ron Ormson of CPAC. They are the two in house technical people dealing with air emissions.

Now the caveats. My understanding of the setting of air standards is that they share the same huge weakness that water standards share. This inherent and grotesque weakness is that each individual chemical air standard is based on the ridiculous and fantastic assumption that this particular chemical is the ONLY chemical, all by itself, in the atmosphere at any one time. This is fantasy land and hence my opinion is that the Ministry of the Environment, Health Departments and politicians of all stripes are talking through their hats when they baldly state that local industrial air emissions are not hazardous to our health.

Although I have no information implicating any Region of Waterloo treatment plants or industries, nevertheless the sheer magnitude of this problem needs to be publicized. Whether sewage or industrial toxins we are drop by drop destroying ourselves and our planet. This discovery by the Toronto Star is the kind of story, dealing with the public interest, that all newspapers should strive for.
A clarification is required here. Although this Toronto Star story has no mention of Waterloo Region, nevertheless if you check my posting for Saturday May 29/10 you will see that Woolwich Township is no stranger to sewage spills (or chemical ones as well).

Sunday, June 13, 2010


on Monday June 21,2010 5- 8pm. at St.Jacobs Community centre, 31 Parkside Dr., St. Jacobs.
This notice appeared in the Woolwich Observer recently. All you want to know and probably more will be presented at this public meeting and others in Kitchener and New Dundee on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 22 & 23/10.

At this point in time, my understanding is that yes we need some sort of master plan to safely dispose of biosolids, however having seen their disposal on local fields around West Montrose, I'm less than impressed. My suspicion is that as usual the Ontario Ministry of the Environment have environmentally sound rules and regulations in place but minimal supervision and accountability to ensure that all parties follow them. Is there not a better place to put biosolids, than on our fields, whether for cattle corn or human consumption?

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Further delays put all of us at risk as per the following link.

Dioxins and DDT, in huge quantities exist in areas GP1 & GP2 on the south-east corner of Uniroyal's (Chemtura) site. Their presence has been known and ignored for decades. Chemtura had at long last made a commitment to remove them only to renege again. This is why I have lost all faith in the Ontario M.O.E. to do anything about this rogue company.
There is an earlier post in the E. Advocate regarding GP1 & GP2 on May 17/10.

Yes indeed, for the last 17 or 18 years, we have been drinking fluoridated water which comes up a pipeline from Waterloo. No I don't recall ever being asked if I wanted it or not. At the time there was probably a collective sigh of relief that our NDMA (and more) contaminated water was being replaced with what we thought was something better. In regards to Fluoridation (HFSA- Hydrofluorsilicic Acid) there will be a public debate next Thursday, June 17/10 from 7:00 till 8:30 pm. at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, 101 Father David Bauer Dr. Waterloo.
Further posts in the Elmira Advocate re: Fluoridation are on May 16/10 and May 20/10 (two of them).

Friday, June 11, 2010

GIANT HOGWEED as an Environmental Issue?

Both our local newspapers have devoted space this week to the nuisance and worse of this potentially very large weed. I had been unimpressed with the seriousness until I began to compare my symptoms of the last two months with the symptoms to exposure of the giant hogweed. Well! I've been growing a beard off and on for two months partially to hide red blotches and partially to shade my face from the sun. The off and on refers to two recent funerals in which I shaved before attending and sure enough my face got itchy again right after. Whether from pulling a couple of weeds in a corner of my backyard or courtesy of transfer (sap) after my dog was running through the brush at the Woolwich Dam, I seem to have picked up something my skin doesn't like. Of course if I listen to my wife, it's probably just old age!

A phone call to the Region of Waterloo confirmed that the last time well E10 (Scotch Line & #85) was on line in the distribution system was in 2001. Obviously I would like to see further test results in regards to the presence of NDMA and Dichloromethane.

Today's K-W Record, Local Section, has a PUBLIC NOTICE titled "Strange St. Water Supply System Upgrade Class Environmental Assessment Update". The timing is exquisite considering just two days ago I informed readers of the Advocate of the huge issues surrounding these wells. There isn't a mention of chemical pollution in this wellfield in this Public Notice. Nevertheless back in 1988, a partial list of detected industrial chemicals included TRICHLOROETHYLENE, 1,1,1 TRICHLORETHANE, PHENOL, XYLENE, PYRENE, STYRENE, ETHYL BENZENE etc.. The first Public Information Centre will be held on June 24, 2010, 5-8 pm. at Westmount Public Scxhool, 329 Glasgow St. Kitchener.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


The June 9/10 Elmira Independent has another Letter to the Editer pointing out the massive size of the proposed bio gas facility to be built on Martin's Lane in Elmira.
A. & P. Rickard emphasize both the number of incoming tonnes per day of waste as well as the amount of truck traffic necessary to support this volume. Their suggestion that a total of 80 trucks per day (in and out) indicates that this is NOT a minor issue and indeed there is "the potential for major odour and traffic problems for residents..."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


It is my opinion that our local and provincial politicians have managed in only a relatively short period of time, to destroy our precious groundwater resources. Here in Elmira we are receiving our tap water courtesy of a pipeline built to replace our groundwater ruined by Uniroyal (Chemtura), Nutrite, Varnicolor and (Borg Textiles?). This pipeline ostensibly brings us water from wells in Waterloo, however with the integrated system that the Region of Waterloo has, it is probable that we are treated with Kitchener water as well.

The reason that the Region and local business and industry are promoting a GREAT LAKES PIPELINE is because they know that they've ruined our local supply and that other sources are desperately needed. Make no mistake, you and I through our taxes will once again be bailing out both bad political decision making as well as polluting industries.

Two out of three wellfields in Waterloo are contaminated by industry, directly or indirectly. The William St. wells courtesy of SunarHauserman and possibly Canbar or Seagrams. The Erb St. wells by the Erb St. Landfill.

In Kitchener it's worse with the Forwell & Pompeii wells down due to Safety-Kleen, the Parkway wells contaminated by Deilcraft, the Greenbrook wells by the Ottawa St. Landfill. The Strange St. wells have huge issues and Uniroyal Tire seems the most likely culprit despite a paucity of public data. The Mannheim wells have lesser issues as does the Grand River due to dilutuion. That being said the Region claim that measureable quantities of Trichloroethylene in the Grand at Cambridge are normal.

More and greater water treatment costs are on the immediate horizon despite politicians begrudging these kinds of costs which aren't "sexy" and don't get them votes. The fallacy in going to Lake Erie (or elsewhere) is these bodies of water are the storehouses for our ongoing industrial stupidity. As long as industry is protected and not exposed by our politicians the less incentive they have to clean up the messes they've already made. As long as our authorities (M.O.E. & Region) accept Mickey Mouse site cleanups versus real cleanups, the less incentive industry has to avoid future groundwater pollution. The more the costs of pollution are passed onto the taxpayers via water treatment due to industrial pollution, the less incentive industry have to dispose of their wastes safely and properly.

The only solution to this bleak future for your children and grandchildren is for you the public to get angry and demand MORE responsibility from your elected representatives. It isn't scientists who do or don't drive a greener future. God help us all, it's politicians.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The following paragraphs are from a May 1989 Report prepared by Canviro Consultants for Varnicolor Chemical at the request of the Ontario M.O.E..

Pg.19 " One concern which has been raised in previous monitoring reports is the possibilty of offsite sources. Without the accurate definition of these contaminant sources, any predictions concerning contaminant fate is less then accurate. Presently, several lines of evidence suggest that an offsite source(s) could be responsible for much of the groundwater contamination experienced in the area.
The contamination identified in the Howard St. drain had some compounds whose concentrations exceeded those on the Varnicolor property. Contaminant concentrations can be expected to be diluted by moving further away from the source. Therefore the contaminants detected in the Howard St. drain should in fact be lower."

Monday, June 7, 2010


Can we call them the FABULOUS FILTHY FOUR?

Uniroyal told the truth, twenty years ago, when they said they weren't the only contributers to the Municipal Aquifer contamination.

Chlorobenzene was a long term issue in the Howard St. storm drain.
Chlorobenzene was found as a DNAPL (dense non aqueous phase liquid) at OW57-32, near the fire station.
NDMA has long been known to be a component of dyes and the textile industry.
Hoechst produced dyes with Chlorobenzene as a component.
Hoechst was a supplier of dyes to Borg Textiles on the corner of Howard & Union St.

Uniroyal told the truth twenty years ago but they've been lying ever since. HOW MANY $MILLIONS$ DID THEY SAVE IN CLEANUP COSTS COURTESY OF THE ONTARIO M.O.E.?
I'll tell you what the public got. They got screwed by everybody!

Something strange is going on. Now in regards to the Region of Waterloo's water system that is a huge understatement. It is my belief, that for example in regards to Cambridge water consumers, the region's negligence with the Middleton wellfield has transcended into criminal negligence. The apparent fact that the local judicial system doesn't share my opinion is based upon their wilful ignorance and self interest.

Well E10 is at the south end of Elmira, just past dead man's curve, at the intersection of Scotch Line Rd. and Hwy 85/86? south. I have recently found some readings indicating contamination in that well, namely NDMA and Dichloromethane. As per standard operating practice the Region claim that the Dichloromethane must be a testing artifact because when they retested immediately they couldn't find it. The problem is , it wasn't at trace levels, it was at 250 ppb! Also I've since found a second result for it at 260 ppb.
I have also found a reference or two which appears to indicate that Well E10 is considered part of the Region's drinking well system even though it does not routinely appear in the most recent Annual Drinking Water Reports. This is very disturbing news and as I get more information I will pass it along. Clearly, even in a dry summer for example we don't need or deserve contaminated water from well E10.

Friday, June 4, 2010

"The Woolwich landfill differs considerably from the other two landfills on sand
aquifers in that the refuse is deposited in pits that are well above the water table. The bottom of the refuse and the water table are separated by 7 to 10 m of
partially-saturated sand. The thickness of the sand aquifer beneath the water table is 15 to 20 m. The water table across the site slopes southeastward, which is the direction in which a plume has developed since landfilling at the site began in the mid-1960's."

"The limit for 1,1,1 trichloroethane in drinking water suggested recently by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is 200 micrograms per litre. The concentration levels in the Woolwich aquifer are very small relative to this value. The suggested limit for trichloroethylene in drinking water provided by the State of New York is 10 micrograms per litre. A few values above this limit occur very near the Woolwich landfill but not at distances from the landfill. To our knowledge, guidelines for these compounds in drinking water have not yet been produced by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. The closest drinking-water well is about 1 km from the landfill in the direction of groundwater flow. The zone of identifiable aquifer contamination at the present time therefore has not yet moved sufficiently far to cause closure of wells."

I would find this small comfort if I was the one with the drinking well only 1 km away. This is a very old report done by the University of Waterloo. This one is titled "Full Text of proceedings: technology transfer conference no. 5".

P.S. U.S. E.P.A. drinking standard for TCE (Trichloroethylene) has been 5 micrograms per litre ie. 5 parts per billion (ppb) for about twenty years. Ontario has gone up and down, most recently down to 5 ppb. in 2006.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

PROPOSED BIOGAS PLANT Once the Weekender Elmira Independent for tomorrow Fri. June 4, 2010 goes online, I will include a link to it, in this post. SORRY - Here its MONDAY June 7/10 and it seems the Weekender isn't going on line ???. A Derek Potma has written a Letter to the Editer regarding the proposed Biogas plant which I feel deserves praise. He focuses not so much on the quality of life issues including safety but rather on the undemocratic nature of the Ontario Green Energy Act. Also he correctly points out that our taxes are subsidizing this and other "green" projects at the same time that we are losing what little input we ever had into the process.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

BIO- EN FUELS It seems to me that at Virgil, Ontario they are at least on the right track by having this facility in a rural setting versus putting a bio gas facility here in town. See Elmira Independent.
This story in the Elmira Independent is about last week's Woolwich Council meeting dealing with a zone change for the benefit of Capitol Paving in West Montrose.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The following is a link to a Region of Waterloo website. Go down their page to #10 (urban threats inventory). When you bring up this report , go to page 26. I found this map quite shocking as it shows how many known and high potential threats there are to our drinking water. Elmira residents should particularily notice both the number of red dots in Elmira, as well as the dots in Waterloo where we get our water from.