Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Today's K-W Record carries this story on page B4: "Agency says inactive sand and gravel sites may pose threat to drinking water". Apparently our Ontario Ministry of the Environment has been requested by the Lake Erie Source protection Committee to look into issues around closed gravel pits as to how they might negatively affect groundwater and thus drinking water. Of greatest concern would be gravel pits which go below the water table thus exposing the aquifer to potential contamination. Also mentioned were ponds in these rehabilitated sites. I'm thinking of Snyder Flats in Bloomingdale among others. Here the GRCA touts the enhanced beauty post gravel extraction and rehabilitation. This is nonsense. Ponds may look nice but they are direct conduits to the shallow aquifer and probably to deeper aquifers. Also mentioned in this article is the potential for contaminated fill material to be placed in the sites during reclamation work. This is more than just a possiblity here in Woolwich. Years ago I reported to the M.O.E. foundry sands (with phenolic resins in them) being used as fill in a gravel pit on Hwy # 86 outside Elmira. These sands were from the former Procast Foundry in Elmira. The evidence of this improper waste disposal in this gravel pit was indisputable as Procast conveniently sent along their paper office garbage with their letterhead on it. The reality is that at best the M.O.E. may print off some stricter regulations regarding gravel pit rehabilitation but the enforcement will be slim or nil.

1 comment:

  1. In rereading this post it occurred to me that I should have mentioned Safety-Kleen and the Forwell sand & Gravel pit behind them and between them and the Grand River. Forwell's have removed the overlying sand, gravel and silt and totally exposed the Lower Drinking Water Aquifer . There is zero protection of this aquifer and that plus Safety-Kleen's contaminants are the reason the two Regional wells , K70 & K71, have been shut down since 1993. The Region's claim that it is due to bacteria is beyond bullcrap and one more example of governments protecting business and industry first and people second.