Chatham-Kent homeowners plagued with contaminated water take action

Group is raising money to do testing on contaminated well water sediment

January 7, 2023

Some families’ water is discoloured and full of grit, after wind turbine construction. What’s in it? They want to know. [Supplied image]

Photos of dirty brown, even black water from water wells in Chatham-Kent, in the former Dover Township, have been in the media for years.

Several wind turbine projects were proposed for the North Kent area, despite formal designation as a “highly vulnerable aquifer.” The geologic formation is known as Kettle Point Black Shale

Residents linked the failure of their wells and the contamination of their water supply to the construction of wind turbines in the area. The situation continued after the wind turbines began operating, and the theory is that the vibration from construction activities and the turbine operations (they are like giant tuning forks stuck in the ground) is linked to the water situation.

Graphic from the Ontario Groundwater Association says it all [Source: OGWA]

After years of pressure from citizens on the environment ministry and on local MPPs, the Ford government finally agreed to an “all-hazards” investigation. The report of the expert panel was released last April and while it could not pinpoint a direct link to health effects, the scientists did say the water quality was poor, wind turbines were a factor, and that more testing was needed.

The sediment load in some wells is so heavy that water filters become jammed within weeks. These filters should be WHITE [Supplied image]

In fact, the panel was directed NOT to test the actual sediment in the water, which they believe should now be done.

Panel member Keith Benn, a geologist and PhD, recently advised residents to take matters into their own hands and do the testing that he, and others on the expert panel, think is necessary.

His view is that if residents do their own testing, the results will show government how important it is to take further action.

“Maybe if some more people do this with their wells, and there’s a bigger data set, and it comes back showing this for a number of wells, maybe the government will be interested in doing more work,” he said.

This weekend, residents whose wells are affected set up a Go Fund Me fundraising effort to raise money for the testing, which can cost as much as $700 USD. Community group Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns* (WAWC) is the sponsoring organization. They nearly missed

At the time of writing, they have raised more than $7,000 toward their goal of $12,000 for the tests.

The Go Fund Me link is HERE:

People wishing to donate may also send a cheque to Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns, C/O 294 East River Road, Wallaceburg, On. N8A 4L2

*WAWC is a corporate community group member of Wind Concerns Ontario

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