‘The community is suffering’: Concerns raised about Saint John water supply

News source from CTV News

CTV Atlantic


Published Monday, May 28, 2018 6:50PM ADT


Last Updated Monday, May 28, 2018 7:38PM ADT

Some residents in Saint John’s west end are expressing concerns about the safety of their new water supply, saying they want to know more about what’s coming out of their taps.

Pamela Ross says she noticed a significant change in the water last September, after the city had gone underground for water, drilling a series of wells.

“What’s in the water? Why are we having health issues? Why is it destroying our homes? Why are our pipes breaking?” asks Ross.

“The community is suffering. We need answers and we need them immediately.”

Some residents allege that the new water supply is resulting in rashes and other medical conditions, while others are experiencing new leaks in their home plumbing.

“People have lost confidence in their water system,” says Paul Groody, a retired city water commissioner and a member of the West Side Ratepayers’ Association.

Groody says he has been stifled in attempts to get background information on the selection of the well site.

“With respect to the province, when we asked for information on the environmental impact assessment that was undertaken, I frankly expected someone to lift that report off the shelf and say, ‘Here you go.’ That’s not the case,” says Groody.

Mayor Don Darling has referred all questions to the city’s communications department.

In a statement to CTV News, the city insists the new water supply “meets the high level of quality legislated by Health Canada and the New Brunswick Departments of Health and Environment and Local Government.”

The city also says the new water supply is naturally filtered underground, which increases its hardness or mineral content.

The West Side Ratepayers’ Association has written to New Brunswick’s integrity commissioner, asking for all public documents connected to the well water, as well as the environmental assessment. It says it has yet to receive a response.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron





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