Saturday, July 28, 2018


Eco-Logic were a small company in Rockwood, Ontario. They were hired by the Region of Waterloo in December 1989 to both look at the health risks from NDMA as well as to determine who or what was the source of the NDMA in the south wellfield. The first thing they determined via water sampling was that the NDMA in the distribution system was solely coming from the two wells, E7 and E9, in the south wellfield. Early on there was no NDMA coming from the five wells in the North Wellfield. This soon changed after the south wellfield was completely shut down. There was a groundwater divide based upon the normal and natural groundwater flow from Uniroyal Chemical being in a south-west direction. Once the south wellfield was shut down, the natural south-west groundwater flow continued however there was also a component of Uniroyal's groundwater pulled northwards by the pumping in the five north wells. This relatively increased draw of groundwater northwards resulted in the north wellfield also becoming contaminated with NDMA.

Eco-Logic was correct in their analysis that the NDMA source that ended up in the southern wells was from the south of Elmira. What they likely didn't realize was that isolating the Elmira Distribution System from the southern wells was a very short term fix and the fact that the other NDMA source in the north from Uniroyal would certainly announce itself very quickly after those were the only wells left pumping.To this day there has been little overt attempt to determine who was responsible for the NDMA near the south wellfield.

It is even conceivable that there were three sources in Elmira responsible for NDMA in the north and south wellfields. Certainly Uniroyal Chemical was one of them. Another I have long favoured was Varnicolor Chemical. My best educated guess for the third even further south would be either Sanyo Canadian or even the old McKee Harvester formerly located at Industrial Drive and Southfield Drive. Sanyo and McKee have the distinction of geographically surrounding the long running, pumping well W3 which is on Industrial Drive beside currently Leroy Auto and formerly Midas Muffler. Sanyo is north of the pumping well and McKee immediately south of it. There is a large open field to the immediate east with the Resurfice Corporation on the east side of the field.

Both pumping well W3 and its replacement W3R have had inappropriately high concentrations of both NDMA and chlorobenzene for decades. Just north of W3R at Industrial Drive and the south side of Oriole Parkway is monitoring wells CH38. They too have had inappropriately high concentrations of NDMA and chlorobenzene for decades. While Borg to date can not be ruled out in contributing chlorobenzene it is by no means certain.

What is certain is the Mickey Mouse investigation by Jim Bradley's five man team in late 1989 as well as the investigation in 1991 and 1992 by Ch2MHILL, were both inadequate. While CH2MHILL had a broad mandate and did excellent work in examining the current and future water supply for Elmira and St. Jacobs, they did not do a good job in investigating likely industrial suspects as NDMA sources in Elmira.

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