Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Good news and bad news here. Some of the bad news is common with most other Region of Waterloo jurisdictions and municipalities. This includes Glyphosate at a Method Detection Limit (MDL) of 25 parts per billion (ppb.). That is outrageous and most likely an attempt to hide significant detections of Glyphosate in some locales by increasing the MDL until Glyphosate registers as non-detect. Then either in expectation that because it has become ubiquitous in our groundwater it will rise in most of the other groundwater wells or in order to hide which citizens are already blessed with this herbicide (Roundup) in their drinking water, all the MDLs throughout the region are elevated.

There are another eight chemicals some solvents, some pesticides at MDLs at 1 ppb. or higher. That also is unacceptable. Sometimes it isn't the high reading of one toxic chemical but multiple low readings that can do damage to human beings.

The really obvious problem with West Montrose water is and has been forever the bacteria in the raw water. 2016 isn't too bad in comparison to other years although I would describe the raw water as still totally unacceptable. The Region appears to agree as they have a brand new water supply coming in scheduled for the end of 2018. Whether they will luck out and there will be no major breakdown in the on-site treatment causing major illness or worse is anybody's guess. E.Coli and Total Coliforms are still present in the raw water and that is hardly surprising considering the river wells draw water from both the unprotected Grand River as well as the groundwater impacted by the septic systems in the village.

2016 saw only one Adverse Result although that was a loss of Combined Chlorine in the system. The treated water was resampled, disinfection was restored and watermains were flushed. This is the problem when you have an already known problem source. Each and every breakdown could have terrible consequences. The prior two years were pretty good in regards to Adverse Results although as recently as 2013 they had an even dozen Adverse Results during the year. These included excessive Chloramine, a health issue, as well as deficient Contact Time (CT) between the raw water and the disinfecting (bacteria killing) chlorine. Overall the West Montrose water treatment system has been plagued with Adverse Results for many years often requiring disinfection to be restored and watermains flushed. This bodes poorly.

Bizzarely the Turbidity in the West Montrose water system has been on the rise over the last several years. From 2012 at 4.98 NTU until last year (2016) it was at 12.2 NTU or Nephlemetric Turbidity Units. Generally raw water should be at 1 NTU or lower in order for disinfection to be totally effective. Bacteria can "hide" from chlorine compounds if there is sediment or particulates in the raw water. There are filters in the system to reduce raw water Turbidity and as long as human error, proper maintenance and equipment failures are slim to nil, disaster can be avoided. A lot of ifs here.

West Montroses water has been shameful for decades. If young children, seniors or people with comprimised immune systems are exposed to E.Coli in particular, then another Walkerton is in the works. To date I think that the Region have been playing Russian Roulette with this water system. Guess what happens if you play Russian Roulette long enough?

1 comment:

  1. how can one reach you, i don't see an email address listed on this site