Chatham-Kent residents take water wells fight to Queen’s Park
Published Thursday, March 8, 2018 4:38PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, March 8, 2018 5:53PM EST
A group of Chatham-Kent residents took their fight for better water to Queen’s Park.
Members of the Water Wells First group held a news conference in Toronto on Thursday, hoping to get more attention to an issue that has been discussed locally for more than a year.
The group is upset with the North-Kent wind farm, which they say is harming their water.
The residents were joined by Essex NDP MPP Taras Natyshak, who with the Council of Canadians, called for an immediate Health Hazard Investigation at farms located near Samsung’s wind turbine site.
“I have seen this black water come directly out of a well on one of these farms – there’s just no way it’s safe to drink,” said Natyshak, who recently toured some of the farms affected and saw for himself the poor quality of the water coming out of the wells. “18 families in the area all experienced the change in their water quality around the time that pile driving for Samsung’s site began. It’s not a coincidence.”
Chatham farmer Marc St. Pierre says they only use the well water for bathing and toilets.
“I hate the thought of that because my wife already has indelicate health, so to know that I'm slowly poisoning her with this water is very disheartening,” said St. Pierre.
Water Wells First blames the vibrations caused by wind turbine construction for contaminating their well water.
On the company’s website, officials with North-Kent Wind say they received 16 complaints about water quality last year. They say they gave each complainant fresh water while investigating.
North Kent Wind said it deemed the water quality was not related to their work, rather the concerns appeared related to well construction, the condition of existing well pumping and treatment equipment, on-going maintenance, or lack of maintenance in combination with the natural conditions in the region.
Ontario’s Ministry of Environment agreed with the company’s findings.
The North Kent Wind farm is expected to be complete by September.