All the baseline testing done by Paul and Jessica Brooks on their well on Brook Line north of Chatham has allowed them to prove their well was fine before pile driving began north of their home for North Kent Wind Farm project.
The Brooks and Water Wells First contacted the media at the start of August after the well on their property became clogged with sediment hours after the pile driving began behind their home. Testing they paid for themselves on their well showed their water to be clear and clean.
After contacting the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), the wind farm company owned partially by Pattern Development was notified of the problem. Under the REA permit they received to be able to go ahead with the project, the company had to address a complaint, assess the condition of the well, and provide water if any contamination had occurred.
WWF spokesperson Kevin Jakubec said an employee of Pattern Energy made a public statement that the water was “visibly clear” and “they’ve found no evidence of an issue,” something Jakubec said was blatantly untrue.
“A MOECC provincial officer collected a water sample Aug. 1 from the Brooks residence. Both filters adjacent the tap where the water sample was taken were plugged by sediments. Test results from the MOECC received at 3:56 p.m. showed extremely elevated turbidity levels at 86.8 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units). The Ontario Drinking Water Standard has an aesthetic objective of 5.0 NTU for turbidity,” Jakubec said.
Private testing recommended by Water Wells First conducted at the Brooks’ home – a triplicate test for turbidity taken by a hydrogeologist following legal chain of custody requirements – revealed consistent turbidity values of 2.53 NTU, 3.02 NTU, 2.96 NTU. Average value was 2.84 NTU.
“The comparison between these tests indicates that the Brooks’ family well water suddenly increased 30 times in turbidity,” Jakubec said, which refutes the statement made by the Pattern employee.
Pattern Development has provided the Brooks with a water tank for their household needs immediately as is required by Section G of the REA permit. A 2,000 gallon tank of Ingersoll water was delivered and personally overseen by Pat Murray of Pattern Development, Jakubec said.
Jakubec said Chatham-Kent Coun. Joe Faas was at the Brooks’ home on Aug. 4 and saw there was no water to flush the toilet or to do dishes.
Pictures of water taken from the Brooks water filters shows the water to be extremely murky and contradict the Pattern Development employee statement that the water is ” visibly clear.”
“The company is obligated by REA permit conditions to immediately provide a water tank at no cost to the family and provide a sequence of remedial measures to restore reliable groundwater access at no cost to the family,” Jakubec said. “If the company cannot restore reliable groundwater access, the company will have to supply the family with a water line at the company’s expense.”
Jakubec said he was told by Murray that a further meeting with the Brooks family was planned for this week.
At press time, four families in North Kent had reported sediment was clogging up the filters on their wells, resulting in no water. WWF members were meeting this week to discuss further action.
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