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Letters - November 22, 2007

Letters

November1Sydenham Water Problem Continues, Bob ForbesOperation Christmas Child, Mary HowesSydenham Water Problem Continues

Our local newspapers have done an excellent job of reporting the current problem of high levels of THMs (trihalomethanes) in the treated water from the controversial water plant in Sydenham. Both CAO Burns and a spokesperson from the MOE were reported as saying that the THM problem is associated with low water usage by the hamlet. This raises a number of questions that should be of concern to the residents of Sydenham.

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If the organic matter in the lake water were removed effectively during the treatment process, then THM’s would not be forming regardless of how much water is or is not being used. So why not solve the problem at the source – in the water plant?

Is it reasonable to expect residents to use more water that doesn’t meet provincial standards as a means to compensate for an ineffective water treatment process?

Considering that 92% of the people lobbied against this water plant, is it reasonable to expect them now to be enthusiastic about using more water?

We paid almost $8 million, and continue to pay monthly costs, for a water plant that still can’t produce water that meets provincial standards. Who is being held accountable for this? Didn’t the consulting engineers design the plant for the quality of the lake water and its seasonal variations? What has gone so wrong? Has South Frontenac Township investigated this, and if so why haven’t they told the people? Surely the people of Sydenham will not have to pay additional costs to correct a brand new system.

Finally, after 16 months, the press informed the people of the THM problem, not the township. Lack of communication from the township seems to be an ongoing issue with this water system. Will our community have to continue to rely on the papers quoting Utilities Kingston or the Health Unit or the MOE to be informed about the quality of our water?

It now appears that the current THM problem is not a major crisis, but considering the consistent way issues with the water plant have been handled, we may still have one in our administration.

Bob Forbes, Sydenham

Operation Christmas Child

I wish to commend the staff of St. James Catholic School for involving their students in Operation Christmas Child. It is encouraging to know that one board is concerned that their students are involved with children in other parts of the world who are less fortunate than they are.

I was pleased to see the photograph on the front page of the News. Please give us more coverage of items concerning our young people on your front page.

I only saw one small picture of the Joe Goodfellow Run, which involved several hundred students from 14 schools.

Mary Howes

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