By Chad Ingram
Published Nov. 10 2016
Algonquin Highlands township will drill a new well at its new public works garage in Dorset since the water from the first well has such high sodium levels that it’s unusable.
Staff moved into the facility in December of 2015.
“During early spring of 2016 staff noticed that the water supply had turned dark and tasted salty” read a staff report from public works director Mike Thomas that councillors received at their Nov. 3 meeting. “Algonquin Clean Water was engaged to visit the site to advise on what could be done to solve the problem and to also submit a water sample for analysis. The results of the analysis showed a high content sodium such that the water supply was posted as non-potable until further notice.”
Thomas told councillors it’s been determined the reason for the high sodium levels was the well had been dug in an area where road salt had previously been stored.
“Nothing’s guaranteed when you’re drilling a well” Thomas said.
While some potential solutions included a reverse osmosis system which Thomas said would be costly and difficult to repair it was his recommendation that the township drill a new well on the property.
The public works director had collected quotes based on the drilling of a 200-foot well.
The lowest quote was from Haliburton Artesian Well Drillers for approximately $5660 plus taxes.
Councillor Marlene Kyle raised her hand.
“Your company’s named in the report” said Reeve Carol Moffatt.
Kyle owns Algonquin Clean Water Services.
“That’s OK I’m OK with that I just have a question” said Kyle who asked whether the company would do sodium testing on the soil before picking the location of the new well.
“That’s another cost that’s not known at this time if we go that route” Thomas said indicating soil testing was not included in the quotes.
Council ultimately agreed to the drilling of a new well but that geo-technical work should be done first to determine the best location.
Haliburton Artesian Well Drillers also had the lowest quote for decommissioning the existing well at $1500 plus taxes.