Saturday, March 25, 2017


Cambridge drinking wells continue to drop at an alarming pace. After looking through the 2016 Annual (drinking water) Reports it appears as if a few more are either fully or partly down for the count. This includes P6 which has been down since 2011 as well as the Hespeler wells. H3 was shut down for all of last year, and H4 was also down for all of last year. That said H4 has been supposedly sharing duties with the addition in recent years of well H4A. I would expect that H4 is contaminated and H4A has a liner through the contaminated depths and picks up its groundwater from a cleaner depth. Well H5 was shut down for 14 weeks last year without reason given similar to the other wells. Also its' organic parameter testing has not been updated since 2014. This may be legal but it's not right.

Well G9 has had long term low level Trichloroethylene (TCE) in it from probably two nearby industrial sources. The TCE is at 2 ppb. which is similar to the criteria for the Minnesota Department of Health. Oh wait a minute. That's the concentration of TCE from the last time it was tested in 2014. How neat is that that a well which routinely detects toxic TCE in it is not tested even on an annual basis? At least P6 was being tested for TCE several times a year before they shut it down in 2011 allegedly without finding any TCE. Well G9 was offline for eleven weeks last year. Once again no explanation is given. Such a confidence builder that is Region of Waterloo.

Preston well P15 was offline for 23 weeks last year. I guess Cambridge just has so much excess water available they can afford to shut multiple wells and pumps down for long periods of time. Again no explanation given. Preston well P9 had a very unusual event occur and it rated an Adverse Incident Report. Apparently Total Coliforms had 1 detection in the treated water. This is unusual in that while Total Coliforms are not unusual in raw water, to find even a detection of 1 in treated water is. The Corrective Action consisted of resampling the treated water and presumably the sample came up at zero.

Then we have Glyphosate tested at a Method Detection Limit (MDL) of 25 parts per billion (ppb.). This is a totally bizarre MDL. Most of the other organic parameters are tested between .1 and .5 ppb. with a couple around 1 and 1.3 ppb. and one at 1.5 ppb.. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. A number of sources have been sounding the alarm for this herbicide over the last several years. Allegations include that it can be toxic to aquatic organisms and that it may be a trigger for autism in humans. It is also used in GMO foods as well as has become ubiquitous on farms, residential lawns and in our drinking water.

This 25 ppb. MDL is throughout Cambridge's drinking wells and most likely all of Waterloo Region. To date I have not checked every single Annual Report for 2016. What I can tell you is this. Ten years ago plus the MDL for Glyphosate in Waterloo Region wells was in the 2 parts per billion (ppb) ie. <2 ug/l range. Then it rose to <10 ppb. or <10 ug/l. Approximately in 2009 the Region of Waterloo raised the Method detection Limit to <25 ug/l or less than 25 parts per billion (ppb.). This < symbol stands for "less than" and basically means that the Region can claim that Glyphosate is non-detect albeit at a MDL of <25 ppb..

So Glyphosate is non-detect at a MDL of <25 ppb. What reasonable explanation for constantly raising the Method Detection Limit over time is there but that the concentrations of Glyphosate keep rising in our groundwater? While the Ontario Drinking Water Standard (ODWS) for Glyphosate currently is at an extremely high 280 ppb. I expect that the science will catch up with it. If the health concerns both for wildlife and humans are even half correct than just like TCE you will eventually see this Ontario Drinking Water Standard drop dramatically. Of course our governments believe that toxic exposure doesn't really count as long as it's below the ODWS. Furthermore and even more remarkably while they have absolutely no idea what TCE and Glyphosate together in drinking water can do to humans, rest assured no regional bureaucrats or politicians will be held liable for damages to your health.

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