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2007 Annual Report

Message from Chair - Water - Cool, clean and clear - for now - Environment - Wetlands and Woodlands (a.k.a. "Marshes and Forests") - Haul Route - Truck Traffic - Health - Protecting the Water We Drink and The Air We Breathe - Concluding Comments - Financials - Volunteer Committee - Public Activity Report - References

Water - Cool, Clean and Clear...For Now

We moved here from the city four years ago. My husband could not believe that cold and delicious water ran freely from our kitchen faucet. He's a city boy, so it was a novelty. I was raised in the country and was shocked by my first experience with town water. It didn't smell right and it tasted odd. After that, I bought water - until I moved here. That makes me wonder, "Won't the water that is bottled locally be at risk from a quarry? Just like our wells, and the Carlisle tower?"

I've read the application from ST MARYS and it seems to me that they want to punch holes in a strip of land until it looks like a piece of Swiss cheese. And that's only for testing! Won't those holes be open to the aquifer?

Clean water is a scarce and precious resource. Campers purchase ceramic filters to create potable water in the back country. Here in Flamborough, nature has done it for us. Our water has been safe to drink, untreated, from wells because dolostone rock has acted as a filter -13 storeys deep! That's why our opposition to the proposed quarry has had the threat to our water supply at its centre.

The proponent's application for a permit to take water for the purposes of testing has focused attention where it should be - on water quality and quantity. This is not a single pump test. It is three independent pump tests performed over a 12 month period with the intention of testing theunproven ground recirculation system (GRS). In essence, the 2006 application proposes to cut a 1 metre deep trench into bedrock for a length of 150 metres (longer than a football field); to drill boreholes (first at 10 metre spacing, then at 5 metre spacing) and then to blast the rock to create fractures. The objective of the trench and boreholes is to return the pumped water to the aquifer. The trench appears to be for passive filtering through bedrock; the boreholes appear to be for injection of surface water directly into the aquifer. The creation of fractures appears to be an additional method of taking surface water into the aquifer. This bedrock has successfully filtered the water for generations of families and thousands of people, but holes and fractures become pathways for bacteria and contaminant entry. This vulnerability is a key reason why our community objects to this application.

We are also concerned about the volumes proposed in the 2006 application. The upper limit of the volume of water to be pumped daily is 12,700,000 litres. Put into a scale that is understandable, 12,700,000 litres is the equivalent of filling 50,800 bathtubs every day. If done for 20 days, that's 1,016,000 bathtubs! That's not palatable for communities with watering bans. Nor is it acceptable for families who remember the summer of 2005 when one evening, no water at all ran from the taps in Carlisle.

The good news is that many positive "little things" are beginning to add up on the water protection front. We urge readers to visit www.stopthequarry.ca to truly appreciate the wave that is building.

Together We Will Succeed!