Troubled waters : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Tuesday, February 8, 2000

Troubled waters

Residents' confidence at low ebb despite new water treatment plant

By Tom VAN DUSEN, Ottawa Sun WENDOVER -- While it looks like this Ottawa River community's boiling days are over, confidence in the safety of the drinking water supply is far from overflowing.

Three years ago, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit issued a boil notice in this town of about 1,000 residents after testing showed contamination in the communal drinking water system introduced about 40 years ago. Water was pumped from the river and treated with chlorine; discoloration was also typical.

Finally, late last year, a $5-million filtration plant, storage tower and distribution system came on stream. After a successful battery of tests last month, the health unit's Dr. Robert Bourdeau lifted the boil warning. And, so far, it has stayed lifted.

"I'm satisfied there are no further health risks," Bourdeau said in advising continued precautionary testing.

But residents aren't totally convinced.

While they're delighted the problem appears to have been solved, both from purity and clarity perspectives, some are not yet ready to give up alternate sources of drinking water.

"It got so it was like taking a bath in mud the water was so murky," said Albert Chartrand, a retired elementary school teacher. "The water is nice and clear now."

Despite that, Chartrand says he's not quite ready to trust the change. He wonders about the chemicals required to treat the water, which is still drawn from the Ottawa. Until he's sure, the Chartrand family will rely on bottled drinking water to quench their thirst.

With $3.7 million in provincial grants applied to the final cost of the project, consumers like Chartrand have been left to pick up the balance -- about $2,400 per household.

However, he says he's very satisfied, calling it a new era for the community.

Alfred-Plantagenet Clerk Diane Thauvette said elimination of the water problem will allow a new focus on development in Wendover, which had been frozen because the water situation prevented issuance of new building permits.

Thauvette said Wendover water quality continues to be tested on a regular basis.

-- Homer Beanfang (, February 08, 2000


Thanks for the info. This could affect a lot of people.

-- (, February 08, 2000.

... "It got so it was like taking a bath in mud the water was so murky" ...

Must be where KOS moved to.

-- h (h@h.h), February 08, 2000.

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