Saturday, May 16, 2015


The Annual Report mentioned in the title was released by the Region of Waterloo earlier this year and covers the testing and reporting done during 2014. The Erb St. Well System consists of four wells named W6A, W6B, W7 and W8. Well W8 was offline for seven weeks in 2014 and Well W6A was offline for the whole year. That is not a good sign.

These wells had a combined sixteen Adverse Incidents during the year of which they claim that two were of short duration and hence not a reportable event. Despite this they were both reported and Corrective Action in the form of Resampling, Disinfection being restored and finally Mains being Flushed occurred.

All sixteen of these Incidents revolved around bacterial treatment problems. They included Chlorine levels being too low, Chloramine levels being in excess of the standards, and the length of time water is in contact with Chlorine being too low (ie. CT < 3.0 mg/L*min). These Incidents were relatively evenly spread throughout the year.

What I find odd is that the raw water apparently reported zero Total Coliforms and zero E.Coli. Therefore what exactly is going on here? It almost sounds as if there are either unreliable pumps or other feeding systems of chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite or ammonium sulphate into the raw water. Or is this operator error? Regardless it is unacceptable.

There are other concerns. This report has no mention of THM or Trihalomethane values. THMs are by-products of disinfection and they are toxic above a certain level. Also Glyphosate which has recently been designated as a probable carcinogen is at an unacceptable Detection Limit of 25 parts per billion (ppb). Finally as with all these Annual Reports there are far too many ubiquitous industrial chemicals not being tested for or reported in the water.

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