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HomeHealth and LifestyleSpring melt brings higher risk for well water contamination

Spring melt brings higher risk for well water contamination

KAWARTHA LAKES-According to health officials the spring melt brings higher risk for bacterial contamination of your well water.

Peterborough Public Health and the Township of North Kawartha as well as Trent Lakes have made the process more convenient for rural residents to have their well water tested by offering free well water sample drop offs throughout the summer months.

Beginning Tuesday, April 2, water samples can be dropped off at the Trent Lakes Municipal Office or the North Kawartha Municipal Office located at 280 Burleigh Street in Apsley.

“Between the snow melt and spring runoff, this is a good time of year to test your water as there is a higher risk of contamination,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health Programs. “This is relevant to both drilled and dug wells, but is especially important for dug wells, as they are shallower and more susceptible to contamination. We are happy to partner with the Township of North Kawartha to make it easier for residents to monitor their water quality.”

Water sample bottles can be picked up from the Municipal Office Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They can then be dropped off Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and are couriered to the Public Health Lab in Peterborough at 99 Hospital Drive for testing. In 2018, 240 samples were received and tested as part of this service.

Water sample bottles are free and available at the Municipal Offices. Samples are time sensitive, so residents are encouraged to carefully read the instructions included with each kit. Completed samples should be handed to Reception to be placed in the water sample fridge located in the office.

Water samples can also be dropped off at the following locations:

  •   Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township Office at 1 Ottawa St., Havelock from Monday through Thursday

    between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

  •   Municipality of Trent Lakes Administrative Office, 760 Peterborough County Road 36 in the upper floor main

    entrance lobby on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

  •   Peterborough Public Health, 185 King St., Peterborough, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through

    Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Fridays.

  •   Public Health Ontario Laboratory at 99 Hospital Drive between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.The well water testing service is available at no charge to all residents and cottagers in these areas through a program with Peterborough Public Health.

Well water samples are tested for two types of bacterial contamination: total coliforms and E. coli. The presence of E. coli indicates the water has been contaminated with fecal material, which can contain disease-causing microbes. These organisms can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. Anyone can become ill if they consume contaminated water, but the young, elderly, and immuno-compromised are at a higher risk.

Residents will receive water quality results by mail or you can call Public Health Ontario’s Interactive Voice Response at 1-877-723-3426. If you have questions about water quality test results, you can call the Peterborough Public Health’s Safe Water Program at 705-743-1000, ext. 232, for a free consultation.


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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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