| Apr 02, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - April 2, 2009 Sydenham Water CommitteeBy Wilma Kenny

Some of those who gathered for a meeting of the newly-formed Sydenham Water Committee

The first meeting of the newly-formed Sydenham Water Committee was held March 26. In attendance were committee members Al McPhail, Ron Vandewal, Janet Knights, John Allan, Wilma Kenny. Also present were CAO Gord Burns, Mayor Davison, water plant manager Kevin Riley, and Peter Mocchio from the KFL&A Public Health Unit.

After discussion, it was agreed that the committee’s role was to facilitate communication between the township and all who use Sydenham water, until disinfection by-product formation in treated water is reduced to acceptable levels. (The chlorine presently being used to disinfect the lake water reacts with organic matter in the water to form trihalomethanes - THMs - at levels above those considered acceptable by Health Canada.) Water consumers include not only village residents, but also children from throughout the township who attend both of the schools in the village.

Mocchio said the Health Unit had communicated information about the THM issue with the school principals through the school board. He agreed to share a copy of the information provided, as well as follow up with the schools, to be sure the messages had been passed along to the pupils. He also agreed to provide the township with an updated message to be distributed to village residents.

Burns shared the draft report prepared March 18/09 by XCG Consultants, the firm hired by the township to recommend means of reducing THMs. He said XCG, by drilling test holes in the ice, had already determined that the location of the water intake pipe was not part of the problem: organic levels were consistent at all locations tested.

As might be expected, the draft report is highly technical, but one thing is very clear: there is no one easy or obvious solution to the problem. The committee will meet again as soon as possible with a representative of XCG for interpretation of the issues and options outlined in the report, and to find out how soon a resolution might be expected.

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