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Water Today Title October 21, 2021

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Advisory of the Day


brought to you in part by

Pure Element


Along the Lake Erie shoreline, Wainfleet residents have been under a boil water advisory since April 10,2006, issued by Dr.Robin Williams, Niagara’s then Medical Officer of Health. What was expected to be temporary, affecting 1300 homes in cottage country down the Lake Erie shoreline, from Port Colborne to Dunville and all the way up to the Gord Harry Trail, appears to be active for the long haul.

WaterToday spoke with Anthony Habjan, Niagara Region Public Health Manager, who told us, “The BWA will stand until a permanent solution is put into place. The Wainfleet area has a permanent population that peaks in summer. Lots, originally intended for cottages, have added four to five dwellings on land with septic systems that no longer have the capability to treat affluent. Over the numerous years of abuse; of cottagers not going through the proper channels; or not using the proper anaerobic treatment systems; the water has been rushing too fast and now there is massive contamination of the groundwater.”

From 2001-2006, different scenarios were examined to mitigate the problem. “Several studies were done. They even looked at natural recovery of the groundwater but that would take 500 years. At one time there was talk of a municipal water pipeline. In 2006 the cost to each household was $15,000-$17,000 but not everyone wanted that. There has also been talk of funding or grants but there has been resistance to that. And government has changed so many times. There has been a lot of back and forth. As of now nothing has changed.”

Lynn Gibson, owner of Buttonwood Bed and Breakfast is not affected by the BWA “but I know a lot of people are,” Gibson told WT. “We have our own system on 15 acres, so it does not affect us. But I am always conscious of the environment and this affects 90% of the people all along the lakeshore. When I was a kid it was just cottage country. But more people are building permanent houses. It was never meant for permanent residents.”


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