North Kent Wind proponents unmoved by families’ reports of well water contamination

“Not possible,” wind power developer says, that 12 wells failed simultaneously from pile-driving for wind turbine construction. Nope, it wasn’t us.

Water in Chatham-Kent wells is cloudy, even brown: not our fault says Samsung-Pattern [Photo: Sydenham Current]
October 4, 2017

Ontario Farmer

By Jeffrey Carter
The art of deflection may have risen to new heights during a community meeting organized by the proponents of the North Kent Wind project, on September 21 in Chatham-Kent.
Dr.* Storer Boone, a geotechnical engineer with Golder  Associates, said it is “not possible” that pile-driving has led to well water complaints, given the distances between turbine sites and nearby wells.
Jason Murchison, a hydrogeologist with the firm AECON, also said there is no reason for concern.
“We haven’t seen any impact in the wells we’ve investigated,” he said. “Nothing we’ve seen is any different from the baseline.”
Beth O’Brien, a spokesperson with Pattern Energy, said the majority shareholders of the project, Pattern and Samsung, have been delivering fresh water to some area residents who say their wells have been contaminated. However, that’s not an admission of liability.
“Were doing it to be good neighbours. Right now, if we hear a complaint, we supply them with fresh water.”
The companies, however, will not be laying lines to deliver municipal water to residents, O’Brien said.
According to Kevin Jakubec, spokesperson for the Water Wells First citizens’ group, 12 wells affecting 14 families, have been contaminated with Kettle Point Black Shale due to pile driving, so far. Well water in the area is drawn from about 50 to 70 feet below the soil surface.
The aquifer is located within a layer of glacial till about 50 to 70 feet below the soil surface and just above the bedrock.
While Boone dismissed the notion of vibration-related contamination, he said bedrock particles, many invisible to the human eye, are located in the till layer where residents draw their water.
It is those particles that are the source of the contamination, according to Jakubec and other members of Water Wells First. They said it showed up in the affected wells shortly after pile-driving began and is also associated with vibrations created as the huge [wind] turbine blades rotate.
Peter Hensel, a resident of the former Township of Dover, is among those who say they’ve been impacted.
During a taped conversation, Hensel said he had his well, from which he’s been drinking for seven decades, tested in 2012 before the wind farm in his area  was commissioned, and retested four years later.
“My uranium is up 500 times from what it was before. My arsenic is up 20 times from what it was before, as are many of the other heavy metals and elements I have in my water, some of which exceed the Ontario drinking water standards,” Hensel said.
“The only thing that’s happened within my general area, 1520 holes were punched through my aquifer. All of a sudden, my water is cloudy.”
Water Wells First has asked that the sediment in the water be tested but so far, neither the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change [or the developer] has complied. As a result, Water Wells First has paid for its own tests, which will soon be released.
Pattern and Samsung each have a 35 percent stake in the North Kent Wind project. Other partners include Walpole Island First Nation with a 15 percent stake and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent with a 15 percent stake through Entegrus Inc.
The Municipality, despite its investment, has called for the project’s halt.
Councillor Joe Faas, who attended the September 21 meeting, said “It’s apparent there’s groundwater concern,” and called for a thorough investigation to determine the cause.
Samples of contaminated well water are either cloudy or solid brown in colour and have a disagreeable odour and taste.
Editor’s note: the wind power developers filed for an injunction against Water Wells First and community members demonstrating against the project; they were successful, in a decision announced this week.
Wind Concerns Ontario is advising anyone near this power project experiencing problems or changes to their well water to contact the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Spills Action Line at 1-800-268-8080. Be sure to provide your address, distance from any turbine or turbine construction activity (though this may or may not be relevant), and what the changes are to your water. BE SURE TO GET AN INCIDENT REPORT NUMBER from the staff member you speak to.
*Mr. Boone has a PhD in engineering; he is not a medical doctor.

What's your reaction?


  • Jackie Girard
    Posted October 4, 2017 5:47 pm 0Likes

    In relation to the Golder report thst North Kent 1 lauds as the holy grail of information concerning our bedrock in this area. It has a huge flaw in that Storer Boondoggle used the wrong form of shale to base his data on. Our hydrogeologist and geologist spotted it right away. Of course he won’t admit it. Don’t know how those people sleep at night.

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted October 4, 2017 8:53 pm 0Likes

    Jackie what should Dutton Dunwich residents look for when testing their water… there are numerous residents that use their groundwater wells for their households needs … livestock…. crops and gardens…. are there certain levels of contaminants we should be looking for???
    With the large turbines slated for DD i would like all residents to be aware of the possibility that the very ground water they are mandated by law (the clean water act 2006) to to protect at all costs…. is in danger of being hijacked by the governments clients….

    • Barbara
      Posted October 4, 2017 9:20 pm 0Likes

      Get the well water tested by a certified private lab. Their report will tell you what and how much of something/anything is in your water.
      They can also test for turbidity.
      Try taking a jar of water, shake it up in a dark room and shine a flashlight through the jar. Can also do the same with bottled water as a comparison or use distilled water. Glass jar might be better but try a plastic jar as well.
      There might be something online that can be done at home to test water for turbidity.

    • Jackie Girard
      Posted October 5, 2017 4:10 pm 0Likes

      Not in Dutton Dunwich: have you seen the map that shows where the KPBS is?

  • Jackie Girard
    Posted October 5, 2017 10:41 am 0Likes

    First you have to find a lab that can detect Kettle Point Black Shale. I don’t believe there is one in Ontario due to the fact that KPBS is found so far underground it is not usually an issue. Second you have to find a lab that is not in the Government’s pocket. Thirdly when you do this type of testing before construction it needs to be done by a qualified expert that is trained and has certification for the legal chain of command in order for the results to stand up in court.We have been using a lab in Michigan. The same one that is doing testing for Flint. Turbidity is a measurement of how well you can see through water. For instance a glass of Pepsi cola has the highest rate of turbidity because you can’t see through it. A glass of clear liquid has the lowest but that clear liquid could be acid. Would you drink that? No of course not but the Government using turbidity as a measurement of water quality is laughable because it doesn’t tell you if it’s safe to drink or not. They have outright refused to tell us whether our water is safe to drink and will not collect or test the sediments in the water. Your pre-construction test doesn’t necessarily have to have testing for KPBS. What you need is a good lab that will show your water is currently safe to drink and is clear. Our Municipal Health Unit does well testing but only for e-coli and bacteria. You will need to find a lab that does more than that. To test for KPBS they first note the presence of Pyrite which is super hard and known to house KPBS. They take the Pyrite and put it in an acid bath for weeks to remove it so they can reveal the KPBS inside.Then they look at it through an electron microscope to be certain. Not all labs have that microscope. Good luck. All they do is lie.

    • Barbara
      Posted October 5, 2017 2:16 pm 0Likes

      To determine the structure an electron microscope would be required. Large universities and government labs are apt to have this kind of equipment.
      Use of chromatography paper strips for water testing. Chromatography paper should not be that expensive?
      WQP Magazine, Dec.3, 2001
      ‘Arsenic Testing the Easy Way’
      There is more up-dated chromatography paper strip water testing information online.
      pH water testing is easy using paper strips and has been used for many years and is inexpensive.

      • Jackie Girard
        Posted October 5, 2017 4:16 pm 0Likes

        Barbara, if people do these tests at home they won’t hold up in court. You can use test strips for your own peace of mind but will need certified evidence in court. Pile driving is the biggest culprit but there are reports of damaged wells from spread concrete bases too.

        • Barbara
          Posted October 5, 2017 5:04 pm 0Likes

          If you can detect the presence of something, then do the lab testing.
          Money might be saved this way?
          True, home testing won’t hold in court.

          • Jackie Girard
            Posted October 5, 2017 5:48 pm 0Likes

            There are many wells in Dover that now have truly black water coming from them but there is one man who had the foresight to have his water tested before construction in 2012. His water looks clear but when tested it was found to have 500X the normal amount of arsenic and many other highly elevated levels of other toxins. Of course no one warned them prior to construction to test their wells because they don’t care and are not made to by the Government. What is worse is that people who were paid to have a turbine on their property, when they experienced water well problems, would contact the turbine company. They would be given a filtration system that cost around $8,000. and were asked to sign a gag contract stating that they weren’t supposed to tell their neighbours that their water may be poisoned. So people were making baby formula with it and never knew until it started looking black. People in your own community, neighbours, will throw you under the bus for a few bucks.

          • Barbara
            Posted October 5, 2017 8:51 pm 0Likes

            Just finished looking at what size particles the naked human eye can see. Some say 40 microns but this varies with age. Interesting that some children can see particle of 6 microns.
            Perhaps a major issue is the cost of professional lab testing for well water contamination.
            People signed options and contracts without knowing the consequences.
            Interesting that cement/concrete may also be causing problems now.

        • Barbara
          Posted October 6, 2017 7:09 pm 0Likes

          Wikipedia: Drop (unit)
          Drop is an approximate unit of volume.
          One drop is 0.05 mL or 20 drops/milliliter.
          From this, how much of something in a water sample can be calculated from a known amount of well water.
          Care needs to be taken that well water samples don’t get diluted.
          One trick is to let the contaminated water settle and then take a sample off from the top.

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted October 5, 2017 6:47 pm 0Likes

    Yes Jackie i have thanks….ive been scouring geological maps of the area for a month now…
    i had a brief meeting with our member of parliment Mrs Karen Vecchio last weekend…. she was quite disturbed at the sample of tap water from your area… she will be contacting your MP concerning said water well contamination… should the inevitable happen and the judge finds in favour of the wind plant project then i will be contacting you…. looks like the city folks need a lesson on what is potable ground water shpuld look and taste like….

    • Jackie Girard
      Posted October 5, 2017 9:06 pm 0Likes

      Very good idea to get your MPP on board. We don’t have a Liberal rep in this area! No wonder we’re getting screwed over and the others don’t seem to care as we have showed them what is going on and we can’t get this brought to Queen’s Park. So many hands in the cookie jar.

      • Sommer
        Posted October 6, 2017 11:38 am 0Likes

        Jackie, getting the noise from turbines issue brought to Queen’s Park has not changed anything in Huron County. Take a look at this video:
        Since the MOECC only deals with audible noise our MPP did not address the low frequency noise modulations and infrasound radiation because no one in this government is willing to measure it in peoples’ homes.
        We expected to see action taken after that circus at Queen’s Park and the only thing that happened is Glen Murray quit. Now we have a new Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Chris Ballard, and he has stood up at Queen’s Park and repeated the exact same message as Glen Murray had. This government’s MOECC has bungled the protection of residents and they have chosen to neglect their duty to protect residents effectively. These people need to be held legally liable.

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted October 5, 2017 9:06 pm 0Likes

    Clean Water Act (Ontario)
    The Clean Water Act (S.O. 2006, Chapter 22) is a law enacted by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada. The purpose of this Act is to protect existing and future sources of drinking water.
    The Clean Water Act, 2006 (Bill 43) is a major part of the Ontario government’s commitment to ensuring that every Ontarian has access to safe drinking water. Protecting water at its source is the first step in the multi-barrier approach to source water protection. By stopping contaminants from getting into sources of drinking water — lakes, rivers and aquifers — we can provide the first line of defense in the protection of our environment and the health of Ontarians. For the first time, communities will be required to create and carry out a plan to protect the sources of their municipal drinking water supplies.

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted October 5, 2017 9:09 pm 0Likes

    Require local communities to look at the existing and potential threats to their water and set out and implement the actions necessary to reduce or eliminate significant threats.Empower communities to take action to prevent threats from becoming significant.Require public participation on every local source protection plan. This means everyone in the community gets a chance to contribute to the planning process.Require that all plans and actions are based on sound science.
    This legislation sets out a basic framework for the establishment of community-based groups that represent a cross section of sectors and geographic areas withinConservation Authority (Canada)boundaries. These community-based groups are called Source Protection Committees and there are 19 such groups across Ontario. The Clean Water Act, 2006also introduced the Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program (ODWSP) a financial assistance program for farmers, landowners and small or medium businesses for activities that reduce threats to municipal drinking water sources.

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted October 5, 2017 9:13 pm 0Likes

    Maybe had you voted liberal and with a little greasing … i mean donating here and there… you could have been spared… non???

    • Jackie Girard
      Posted October 5, 2017 9:48 pm 0Likes

      Maybe if I had voted Liberal?????? What difference would that make? It was overwhelmingly Conservative here and the Liberal candidate came in at the last minute and nobody had heard of him before. How much greasing could anyone do up against a billion dollar industry????????? It was a total set up.

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted October 5, 2017 9:24 pm 0Likes
    Safeguarding our Groundwater Supply
    Groundwater is an essential resource. It exists everywhere under the Canadian landscape and is vitally connected to our rich surface water resources. Contamination of groundwater is a serious problem in Canada. Industrial and agricultural activities are major sources of contaminants, but Canadian households are equally important sources.
    Groundwater moves so slowly that problems take a long time to appear. Because of this, and because it is so expensive to clean up a contaminated aquifer (if it can be done at all), it is preferable by far to prevent contamination from happening in the first place. For example, leaking underground storage tanks can be replaced by tanks that will not corrode; landfills can be sited in locations where leachates will not contaminate underlying groundwater; and the impacts of spills of hazardous materials reduced by restricting access to recharge areas.
    Once these contaminants are in the groundwater, they eventually reach rivers and lakes. In other words, once we have apollution problem, we may be only a step away from a water supply problem.
    All levels of government in Canada are starting to take some of the actions necessary to protect our groundwater supplies, but there is a long way to go before these measures are fully effective. At the same time, universities and government research institutes are investigating what happens to water underground and what can be done to preserve it and even improve its availability to us. Both as a society and as individuals, we must keep in mind groundwater’s susceptibility to contamination.
    See also: Groundwater section

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted October 5, 2017 9:50 pm 0Likes

    I can assure each and every one of you out there… that if YOU… or…. YOUR BUSINESS… or… WHO YOU WORK FOR were to contaminate any source of water.. fresh or not…. in the province of Ontario… YOU would be PROSECUTED to the FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW!!!
    Exhibit A…
    Officially charged!!!
    MOECC … hucking fypocrites!!!!!

  • Barbara
    Posted October 5, 2017 10:36 pm 0Likes

    Government of Nova Scotia
    ‘The drop on water’
    Uranium, 4 pages
    “Wells most likely to have high levels of uranium in them are areas with granite, sandstone and shale”
    “More likely to be found in drilled wells that obtain their water through cracks and fractures in bedrock …”
    Canada drinking water quality guideline for uranium is 0.02 mg/L
    Website also has water testing from $15-$230 for a full suite of chemical parameters.

    • Jackie Girard
      Posted October 5, 2017 10:46 pm 0Likes

      Barbara if you google “Kettle Point Black Shale as an Environmental Disaster in Canada” it shows every province and where the different types of shales are in each.

      • Barbara
        Posted October 6, 2017 12:30 pm 0Likes

        I used to own a HP lens micron calibrated OI microscope. So very fine particle sizes can be seen and their size measured. And can be photographed as well.

      • Barbara
        Posted October 6, 2017 9:37 pm 0Likes

        Inexpensive graduated glass and clear plastic cylinders can be purchased online. Use of a graduated cylinder will tell you how much sediment is in a certain amount of water.
        25-50 ml should work. Fill with contaminated water and let settle. Then photograph. Cover top with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation. Larger cylinders should photograph better.

        • Jackie Girard
          Posted October 6, 2017 10:04 pm 0Likes

          Typically what people have been doing around here is to install sediment traps on the pipe that comes up from the well so you can instantly see when stuff starts coming up from the well and it also collects the sediments for testing…by someone besides the MOECC of course. Wish I could include a picture.

          • Barbara
            Posted October 7, 2017 3:33 pm 0Likes

            Some kind of measured scientific demonstration that can be photographed might help. This is why I suggested graduated cylinders.
            Did pea just moved under the shells with what’s going to be tested from water samples?

  • Richard Mann
    Posted October 5, 2017 10:36 pm 0Likes

    Still waiting for Huron County Health Unit…
    An investigation into health impacts of wind turbines was initiated in March 2016. (Ontario’s HPPA, Health Protection and Promotion Act).
    Since then we have had one delay after another, and still no remedy for those living under turbines.
    As of Sept 19, 2017, Erica Clark informed me they have heard back from University of Waterloo ethics requesting “some final wording changes in the study materials”. Meanwhile I have been told that all communications of the ethics board, including the names an positions of the applicants, is confidential.
    I am asking for transparency, and for immediate action on this urgent health issue.
    For further details, including correspondence and my own research on Infra sound and wind turbines, please see my web page below.
    Richard Mann
    Associate Professor, Computer Science
    University of Waterloo

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted October 5, 2017 10:49 pm 0Likes

    I was being facetious Jackie… lol..
    it only takes $15 to $20 grand donation to get a wind project…
    i would gladly pay $30 grand to stop our wind plant project… maybe i could get a meeting with MOECC and donate our way out of the “strong breeze power plant” here in DD…

  • Barbara
    Posted October 6, 2017 4:17 pm 0Likes

    IMO, it’s a mistake to let the government and or developers have samples of well water.
    Those looking for something free will likely get nothing.

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted October 6, 2017 8:10 pm 0Likes

    “We do need to make sure we take into account people’s points of view. That means reviewing what we’ve received, making sure we fully understand it and responding appropriately.”
    Bill Morneau
    More lies!!!

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