Is Cambridge drinking water finally safe?…from the Elmira Advocate

**Editors note** Alan Marshall runs the very informative Elmira Advocate..

He has been advocating for Elmira’s residents for years.. He also has been a great SUPPORT AND ADVOCATE for  the residents of Cambridge.

Who have never been told the truth about how TRULY  toxic our drinking water ACTUALLY IS..

 (Middleton St. Wellfield is located on the west side of Galt.. and supplies 40% of all Cambridge’s drinking water)




by Alan Marshall.. Elmira Advocate


Just tell us the truth. Stop sugar coating the extensive and pervasive results of industrialization and its’ disgusting toxic waste disposal between the late 1800s and 1980.


This waste disposal was to simply send solvents, pesticides and toxic waste water into the nearest ditch, canal, creek or waterway. More “enlightened” companies farther away from the Grand River and its’ tributaries used waste lagoons, pits and ponds out behind their properties, presumably somewhat out of site. To this day Cambridge’s (& Kitchener-Waterloo) groundwater is still contaminated with these carcinogenic compounds.

The Region of Waterloo’s Annual (Drinking Water) Reports are out.


They are on the Region’s website under the headings of Environment, Water, Quality & Treatment.


Up until this year you could access reports going back a decade or so. Those are now gone. I accept some blame for this. I have been posting here each year for the last several years my take on these reports. I also accept some credit for a new page at the start of these reports. It is a list of definitions of some of their short forms and acronyms. Three years ago I and Woolwich Township went after the Region big time in regards to the disgrace of third world water supply in West Montrose. This included requesting that the Region clarify all their stupid acronyms on their Annual (drinking water) Reports.

A year or so ago I gave my opinion that the Middleton St. Wellfield was the most expensive water in the Region.


This was based upon the amount of treatment necessary as well as the recent upgrades in 2013. An Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) was added to the treatment currently available. This is not to detract from the extensive treatment costs for Grand River water taken from the Hidden valley area and piped over to Mannheim for extensive treatment.

The Middleton Wellfield has always been problematic. It’s right beside the Grand River and besides other nearby industries is blessed with Canadian General Tower (CGT) across the street. Among many other things CGT was credited with adding phalates to the sediments in the Grand River beside their plant. Since the addition of AOP in 2013 I’ve been watching Trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations carefully in their Annual Report for this wellfield. Back in 2009 TCE was found at concentrations ranging from 2.3 to 4.4 parts per billion (ppb) with most results in the 3.4 Area. By 2011 they ranged from 1.8 to 2.9 ppb. with most results in the 2.6 Area. 2013 had TCE ranges of .7 to 3 ppb. with most results in the 1.4 Area. Three wells have historically been the source of TCE (& more) into the Middleton Well System. Based upon six different wells now being part of this system I had believed that a significant amount of dilution and mixing of well water was going on. I refer to this as managing pollution not fixing it.

Now here’s where it gets a little weird for me. They’ve got a new multimillion dollar system. A little fine tuning and operator experience usually can maximize the potential of a new water treatment system. By 2014 TCE ranged from 1.2 to 1.9 ppb. in the Middleton Wellfield results. Most results were in the 1.6 ppb. area. Hmm, this is higher than the previous year.

2009 – 3.4 *********************************************************************************************************************
2011 – 2.6 *********************************************************************************************************************
2013 – 1.4 *********************************************************************************************************************

2014 – 1.6 *********************************************************************************************************************

In 2015 the TCE results were between 1.1 and 1.9 ppb. with the most results in the 1.4 ppb. Area.

Now the most recent data ie. for 2016. We have results between 1.13 and 1.6 ppb. with most results in the 1.3 to 1.4 area. After three plus years of running this system have they hit diminishing returns of TCE removal from Cambridge’s drinking water? Or in the alternative are they using this system to manage contamination rather than to eliminate it? Is the cost ever increasing to reduce TCE concentrations closer to zero and they’ve made a management decision to accept greater health care costs down the road for the alleged one or two in a million increased cancers? With over 40% of our population now able to EXPECT cancer at least once in their lifetimes the so called risk assessment numbers have never impressed me.

Tomorrow I’m going to post in regards to the concentrations of TCE in the Middleton St. wellfield in the 1980s and 1990s.


It is not good. I will also add a few concentrations of other toxic solvents to let you know what you’ve already been exposed to. Cancer sometimes takes decades to develop. Past toxic exposures do not “toughen” you up.

They make you more likely to succumb to current even lower exposures of these toxic substances.



While your Mayor is blowing the budget on fulfilling his wish list..

We are at risk.. and have been for years.. and Your Mayor knows all about it..

Just ask him..

footnote.. I am verifying what Alan is saying here about water testing results going missing.. It happened on my watch.

I started this blog in 2008 with Alan Marshall by my side.. once he started looking too closely at the water reports and challenging them..

 They suddenly started vanishing from the Regional Websites..

I also have a category on this site, dedicated to the dangers of TCE { to name just one chemical found in our drinking water}

I note, as I go thru the section on TCE…that a video on Shannon Quebec and how it devastated an entire community is no longer available.. { not the first time, information on deadly chemicals has been removed from the internet/ and my advocate site..

You be the judge as to why that is..

Thank you Alan Marshall for all you do for the residents of this Community..




4 Responses to Is Cambridge drinking water finally safe?…from the Elmira Advocate

    Gloria March 23, 2017 at 8:11 am

    So many facts untold. So many lies to replace the truth. Misleading is neither leading nor governing.

    Tracy Hipel March 24, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    People of Preston should know that the well P6 which is located in Dumfries park on Dumbar has been out of service since 2011 because of a cracked liner and is not a PRIORITY to fix as quoted by the region. Or is it contaminated with TCE from Northstar and they dont want to admit it. During the ministry of environment vs northstar directors that I attended there is no mention of this in the ministries affidavit in 2013 that says this well was offline. This was the source of our great fresh drinking water when I grew up around that area. Makes you wonder whats going on.

    Maggie Smith March 24, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Well when you hear (could be rumours) that the Mayor has his water brought in from Guelph – maybe that should tell us all something ….. ?????
    And I know when you wash a car or anything outside – you get small white looking stains. So kind of worrisome. Hespeler always had excellent water until we were taken over by Cambridge. But that’s much the same with everything now. As Uwe says re our City – it is not any better than it was years ago – we just pay more taxes to keep the guys well-paid at city hall.

    Tom Vann March 25, 2017 at 7:19 am

    All one needs to do is fill your tub with water and smell the chlorine. This chemical rips your organs out and causes cancer. We all had the best water around period. Don’t forget about all those gravel pits that got emptied that filtered the water. We have liars and thieves at city hall, the region, and the ministry. Money at the root. That well is polluted Tracy…period. It will never be opened for use again. TCE is to be blamed.

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