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Water Today Title October 25, 2021

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Advisory of the Day


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On July 28, 2017, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit notified Simcoe ratepayers that sodium is present in unusually high levels in the town’s drinking water. “Sodium will not be removed by boiling water or using pitcher-type filtration units,” then Haldimand Medical Officer, Dr. Malcom Lock said in his notification.

WaterToday contacted the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit and was directed to the Municipal Office of Norfolk County.

“Yes, we issued a notification to residents in 2017 re: elevated sodium levels in Simcoe’s municipal drinking water system,” Matt Terry, Director of Corporate Communications, told WT. “We now monitor sodium levels with quarterly testing. The same precautions should be taken today as then – specifically that those on sodium-reduced diets should consult their healthcare provider whether they should find alternate sources of drinking water.”

According to the Health and Social Services Haldimand and Norfolk website “Due to it high solubility sodium is naturally found in groundwater. In southwestern Ontario, levels of sodium in drinking water may be higher than normal due to the area’s underground salt deposits.”

Human activities can also contribute to sodium levels in water. An estimated 25-50 % of salt used on roads for snow and ice control enter groundwater and can elevate levels of sodium in public water supplies. Domestic water softeners can produce high levels. Agricultural run-off, sewage and industrial effluents, sodium compounds in corrosion control, and water treatment chemicals such as sodium fluoride, sodium bicarbonate, and sodium hypochlorite can also influence sodium levels in water.

Sodium is not considered toxic for healthy individuals and is naturally found in all living organisms and is essential to our diet as it helps regulate fluid levels in our bodies according to the World Health Organization. Unfortunately people suffering from hypertension or congestive heart failure need to monitor their sodium intake.


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