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Water Today Title October 25, 2021

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Advisory of the day


Suzanne Forcese

Hope for Wildlife is a charitable wildlife rehabilitation and education organization in Seaforth, Nova Scotia, that has rescued, rehabilitated, and released over 40,000 injured and orphaned wild animals representing over 250 species since 1997.

Hope Swinimer releasing rehabilitated deer

WATERTODAY had the pleasure of speaking with Hope Swinimer, Founder/Director of Hope for Wildlife, about a BWA that was put in place July 6, 2020.

“I was starting to be concerned about my white-tailed deer deaths and wondered if it was the water,” Hope told WT. “I sent a sample to be tested and it showed e-coli. This was a complete surprise to me as we do have UV and the well is relatively new.”

There are six wells on the property. Only one showed contamination likely due to calcification. “The good news is that all taps on all 6 wells have come back clean but the Department will not lift the BWA until we meet all compliances.”

One of which is – drilling new wells. “It’s really frustrating and hard and we simply do not have the thousands of dollars to do so.” Hope adds that she has been working hard to procure 3 estimates and to actually have companies keep their appointments to come to the job.

“To me it really does not make a lot of sense when we have a 4-year-old system and UV, and we have to replace all our wells even though only one was a problem – which has been rectified. It seems to make a lot of sense to Environment Canada though.”

Hope was told she has to upgrade to Class A from Class B. “They told me it had to be like Superstore. We are only seeing 200 visitors a month now. I do keep signs up everywhere not to drink the water.”

“We are slowly ticking off the list of compliances including building a fence around the wells and removing storage tanks. We’re working 20 hours a day on this to meet the August 17 deadline. The Department of Health told me I can’t take down the signs until all the compliances are met.”

It’s a busy schedule for Hope Swinimer and her staff of 40-50 per week including 12 interns and 24 volunteers. “Only 12 are paid employees.” It takes $1.3 million/year to run the centre that depends on donations.

In addition to the ongoing provision of care, Hope for Wildlife offers a wildlife helpline, welcomes visitors for tours, gives hundreds of offsite educational presentations to community and school groups and collects a wide range of data from animals treated at the centre.

There is even a TV series! Check out the official TV preview.


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