Water Wells First member Dave Lusk has been seeing water wells go bad all around him, so he knew it was only a matter of time before he’d meet the same fate.
The Green Valley Line resident is the 14th property owner in the North Kent Wind Farm project construction area to report that his well system has been impacted after pile driving began nearby for the construction an industrial wind turbine.
“It was just a matter of time before most of us are going to get it,” Lusk said, adding his well system was initially “clogged right off.”
He said there is now just a “trickle” that comes through the tap.
Like other well owners who have experienced the same problem, Lusk has a large tank at his home, supplied by North Kent Wind to provide water.
Lusk said he is “pissed” that the well on the family’s fourth-generation farm is likely ruined.
He said when his family first acquired the farm, they didn’t have hydro, but they have always had good clean, water – until now.
Lusk believes there will be a lasting “stigma” associated with these water wells since pile driving began to build the North Kent Wind farm, being developed by Korean industrial giant Samsung and its U.S. partner Pattern Energy.
“It’s beyond wrong, it’s criminal,” Lusk said, referring to the fact the wind developer continues to put up turbines after stating publicly that the pile driving is not causing the problems with the wells.
“We’ve said this is what’s going to happen, this is what’s happening, and they still don’t acknowledge that the pile driving is causing this damage,” he said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.”
Bill Clarke, a retired hydrogeologist with 40 years experience, said, “I never seen anything like this before.”
He noted with the difficulties being seen with this many water wells, “why isn’t somebody not putting the brakes on and stopping and taking the time to notice what is taking place?”
Clarke, who has been working with Water Wells First to conduct well testing, is particularly puzzled there hasn’t been any action from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
He said some people are experiencing well interference by the clear definition of the Ontario Water Resources Act, Reg. 903.
“If you can’t get water from your well, and that’s a change from what it was so many months ago, is that not interference?” he asked.
Having worked for clients who had quarries and gravel pits where blasting took place, Clarke said if this activity impacted a well, “the ramifications would be instant, the corrections procedures would be instant.”
He added in this area, there seems to be no recognition that people’s wells are experiencing interference from a particulate point of view.
In all the cases he has been involved with, Clarke said the quarry already had a program in place through a citizens’ advisory committee to hear complaints immediately.
He added the operator responds immediately, and if they don’t, the MOECC gets involved.
“I’ve never had a client where they don’t act as neighbours in the area to make sure things are put right,” Clarke said.
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