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Residents and businesses suffer when water jeopardized; time to rethink supply source

A century ago clean drinking water was a luxury in Canada, and thousands of people died every year from diseases like typhoid.

Now, we take clean water for granted. But this past week we’ve been reminded how easily our supply can be jeopardized.

One elderly barge with unsecured contaminant on deck in Picton Bay, and we can’t drink the stuff that comes out of the tap, we can’t bathe our small children in it, we can’t rinse our fresh fruit and vegetables with it.

Businesses suffer as well as households: how do restaurants operate without a constant supply of fresh water? How can hotels and B&Bs attract tourists to the area? How do grocers keep the produce on their shelves from wilting? How do dentists manage? How can our hospital cope?

It means extra trouble and expense for all of them. Either Picton and Bloomfield will have to find another source of fresh water for the years to come, or we will have to rethink industrial marine traffic in our harbour.

Elizabeth Cowan
Prince Edward County Field Naturalists

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Gary says:

    I personally believe the water coming out of the taps was perfectly fine and would not hesitate for a second bathing a child in it or brushing teeth etc. The tap water was municipally supplied tested and treated water. The Health Unit just put on the boil advisory since they couldn’t absolutely guarantee that no bacteria was introduced during the water haulage process. Chances in that volume of water were miniscule. Overkill and hyperbole in my opinion.

  2. Dennis Fox says:

    Elizabeth – A great letter that gets directly to the point. However, from a number of comments I have read since the barge incident, it appears that far too many people just don’t care about our environment. They mistakenly believe that business interests come first and asked why worry about the Bay because it has been polluted for years? They just don’t seem to make the connections that you letter so clearly explained. Thank you!

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