Thursday, March 30, 2017


There are two separate water supply systems in Maryhill. The one consists of two wells MH1 & MH2 and is called the Maryhill Water Supply System. The other consists of wells MH3 & MH4A. It is called the Maryhill Village Heights Water Supply System. Interestingly their water treatment systems are different.

The older system namely the Maryhill Water Supply System has the raw water chlorinated in order to kill bacteria such as E.Coli and Total Coliforms. That said their raw water for 2016 was clear of both. Then the water is injected with ammonium sulphate which produces a more stable disinfectant throughout the distribution system. This nowadays is the norm and it also reduces the production of Trihalomethanes (THMs) from the interaction of the chlorine in the water with any organics. THMs are a health issue and unfortunately although there is a line in the Annual Report indicating that the annual average is to be shown, it is not. So far I have not been able to find where the Region might be hiding this number.

Of greater concern may be the lack of THM reporting in the Village Heights Water System. This is because ammonium sulphate is not used and hence there is a greater propensity for the formation of THMs.

The Maryhill System while likely fine THM-wise does however suffer from a symptom of ammonium sulpahte useage. That is the formation of chloramines which are the more stable disinfectant previously mentioned. Chloramines are also a health issue and the guideline states that 3.0 mg/l (ppm.) should be the maximum. The Maryhill System had half a dozen readings that exceeded half the standard but the other concern is the two that exceeded the 3.0 mg/l standard. The Region have conveniently not given a clear indication as to exactly how much the standard was exceeded by. They have simply recorded > 3.0 mg/l ie. greater than 3.0mg/l which is not acceptable or very informative.

Similar to the other 2016 Annual Reports the Region of Waterloo have dropped two or three pesticides from their reporting (& sampling?) with no explanation given. They have added one namely MCPA. Especially as these are rural systems I think a rationale should be given on these reports for additions or subtractions of parameters used.

Glyphosate (Roundup) similar to all the other reports is also listed as <25 ug/l or less than 25 parts per billion (ppb.). This Method detection Limit is outrageously high.

Both water systems have low Turbidity and non-existent bacteria detections for 2016. That is good news. Nevertheless these Reports are unclear regarding health issues surrounding by-products of disinfection and in regards to certain organic pesticides that may or may not be present. That lack of clarity is not acceptable.

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