Fight continues to protect water wells; Water well problem remains in Dover
Laurier Cartier has a $6,000 water filtration system that sits beneath his kitchen sink that is useless because it's so plugged up with silt and dirt.
The Dover Township farmer says his well water has had dirt and grit in it every since wind turbines went up around his Marsh Line property three years ago.
It's so bad that he often has to go to his daughter's home to take a shower. Black water fills up his toilet tank.
The degradation of well water is something that’s common amongst well water users in the mostly rural township, said Kevin Jakubec said Friday. He’s a spokesperson for Water Wells First — a group of citizens with concerns about the impact of wind turbine vibrations on well water.
Jakubec said he’s positive that the sediment in the water in Dover Township wells is due to the wind turbines.
“I'm 100 per cent sure this is due to the piling foundations.”
Jakubec said his group is aware of 20 people who are impacted with the dirty well water in Dover. He added the wind turbine company that erected the wind turbines in the township provided filtration systems as a goodwill measure to people who rely on well water.
Prior to the wind turbines’ appearance, the well water was good, according to Jakubec.
“It began on the day of the pile driving of the (wind turbine) foundations.”
He said is grip has been trying to make the Ministry of Environment aware of the issue but said there hasn't yet been any meaningful investigation.
There is private testing being completed on the well water, Jakubec said, but no results are available yet.
Water Wells First held a meeting in the township to talk with a number of rural residents who have experienced problems with dirt and silt in their water since wind turbines were installed.
They said prior to the wind turbines they had no well water issues. Now, the well water contains fine black flour like sediment that gums up filters, the residents said.
Jakubec said a lot of people have purchased filtration systems and have changing filters monthly instead of yearly.
“It doesn't work. (The filters) plug up every two or three days,” said Jakubec while holding up a clogged filter.
Jakubec claims the soil in Dover and Chatham townships has a strong sensitivity to vibration impacts.
He recently filed a notice of appeal to the proposed North Kent 1 Wind Project, which calls for 40 to 50 wind turbines to be constructed in Chatham Township. He said some residents worried that the vibrations from the turbines could result in dirty water in their wells — similar to what is happening in Dover Township.
Craig Stainton, executive director for the Ontario Ground Water Association, said the issue with wind turbines causing sediment and turbidity in well water is happening in other areas of the province as well, but people must sign confidential agreements so they can't make anyone aware of the issue.
“There are people who are fearful of acknowledging it,” Stainton said.
Stainton said the wind turbine vibrations transferred down the turbine foundations to the aquifer are causing the problems. He said he wants the Ministry of Environment to visit each well in North Kent 1 Wind Project area prior to construction.
“We want the water sampled. We want to know exactly what's there before anybody starts to do anything. Then it's to be monitored as they go along,” Stainton said. He said if there is a problem, there should be a contingency plan that involved a water truck and a pumping system to provide farmers with water for their needs.