Thursday, November 28, 2013


On behalf of their client, Chemtura Canada, CRA have responded to an inquiry from Woolwich Township concerning underground fuel tanks being installed next to the former municipal wells (E7/E9). Well E7 is currently a significant part of Chemtura's off-site "cleanup" strategy. This well pumps at 26.5 litres per second around the clock and the contaminated water is treated with Ultraviolet light in order to break down the NDMA. CRA admit that there is no other treatment at this site hence any contamination in Elmira's south end other than NDMA, goes untreated into a municipal drain which then flows into Landfill Creek and the Canagagigue Creek.

CRA's claim of nothing other than NDMA is most likely wishful thinking. Just because they don't routinely test for a full suite of Chemtura's and others' contaminants doesn't mean they aren't there. Also CRA's claim that there is lots of clay at the south end protecting well E7 runs a little thin. We all heard those claims twenty and thirty years ago and guess what happened to both the north and south wellfields. Finally we have learned the hard way that clay aquitards are not continuous. There are windows through the aquitards and in fact up until only a few years ago we were advised that the Bedrock beneath E7 had a substantial Lower Aquitard (LAT). Turns out once again they were wrong as there is direct access and connection from the Municipal Upper Aquifer all the way down to the Bedrock aquifer. It is quite possible that in a few more years they will find an existing window through the Upper Aquitard (UAT). If there is one thing I've learned here in Elmira over the last twenty-five years it is that Chemtura Canada's "experts" are wrong just as often as they are right.

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