By  | April 19, 2014 | 1 Comment | Filed under: Cambridge's Dirty Drinking Water








Back on March 1 and 3 I posted here regarding Cambridge’s Annual (Drinking Water ) Reports.

My focus was on industrial contamination, high Method Detection Limits, glaring data gaps including years between published test results and a lack of explanation and transparency for the multitude of drinking wells shut down for long periods of time.

Today I’m going to look a little more carefully at microbiological problems and issues in these wells.

Also just for the record the provincial Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWS) does allow 36 months between publishing test results for industrial chemicals and solvents.

I find this beyond asinine but there it is.

The exception deals with increased reporting requirements when an industrial contaminant is detected and I’m not seeing that happen.

The Middleton Wellfield last year had 129 detections of Total Coliform bacteria and 12 detections of E.Coli bacteria out of 1,261 samples in their raw water.

Considering the volumes of water pumped and the closeness to the Grand River I don’t believe the Total Coliform detections are too surprising.

The E.Coli on the other hand are more serious.

There are, other than West Montrose, almost zero E.Coli detections in the rest of the Region.

Other problems include high Turbidity namely 1.991NTU and Chlorine (free) at 3.80 mg/litre. Both of these exceed the provincial standards.

Both Sodium at 140 mg/l and Trichloroethylene are way too high.

The TCE even after the new Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) had one reading of 3 parts per billion (ppb) and numerous ones between 1 and 2 ppb. This is very strange.

The Pinebush Well System (P10, 11, 17) has high Turbidity and high free chlorine at 4.98 mg/l

Because of the high free chlorine I would really like to see some of their readings for by-products of disinfection such as Trihalomethanes (THMs).

These are not given in this report.

The Shades Mill Wellfield has acceptable bacteria raw water readings however high Turbidity which is not good as it can protect bacteria from disinfection.

One of the four wells was off-line for 47 weeks which also doesn’t bode well.

Further wells and bacterial concerns will be discussed shortly.




  1. fafa@golden.net'
    Debbie Duff Vitez April 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Alan,
    I can only hope the day comes that the residents of my City, and those connected to the West Montrose wells, start to take this seriously and demand RESULTS.. In the meantime all we can do is continue to expose it and hopefully the day comes that enough people start to look closely at what they bathe themselves and their children in each night..

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