On Wednesday, July 6, 2016, Whitevale residents gathered to listen to a presentation by representatives of WSP Consulting and the Region of Durham on the subject of the Durham Private Water Well Monitoring Program for Whitevale.
There was great discussion and the majority of the residents’ questions were addressed through the presentation. Click here to download the presentation slides.
Below are a few key highlights of the presentation:
Private Water Well Monitoring Program
The program is being conducted to determine impacts to private well water in the hamlet as a result of construction of regional ‘spine’ services only (water/sanitary/storm and road construction). This survey is not related to ongoing impacts from all other Seaton construction (i.e. this survey is not meant to measure impacts to well water as a result of the new houses/subdivisions themselves).
The program is being offered at no cost to residents and will consist of the following phases:
- Phase 1 – Baseline Survey:
● Meant to provide the Region with pre-constructiongroundwater conditions in the Whitevale area, with respect to water quantity and quality.
● This baseline information will be used to determine if the construction of regional ‘spine’ services caused any negative impacts to well water in the hamlet.
● Timing: NOW
● Eligibility: Homes on both east and west sides of the hamlet. Does not include homes owned by the province.
- Phase 2 – Pre-Construction Water Level Monitoring:
● A minimum of 15 wells will be selected based on the information collected in Phase 1.
● Both deep drilled wells and shallow dug wells will be included to give an approximation of the groundwater conditions in the area.
● This phase will only monitor groundwater levels (quantity), but will not measure quality.
● A monitoring device (data logger) will be inserted into the well to record water levels and information will be downloaded from the device every quarter.
● Timing: Begins after the Baseline Survey (Phase 1) and continues for a minimum of 1 year (ends once construction begins for regional services).
- Phase 3 –Construction Water Level Monitoring:
● Will only include the 15wells included in Phase 2.
● This phase will continue to monitor groundwater quantity.
● Water quality sampling will only be performed if there is a suspected impact; this is typically in response to a homeowner reporting a change in quality.
● Data collection intervals will be increased from quarterly to weekly.
● Timing: Takes place during select regional construction activities; expected to begin in over a year from now.
- Phase 4 – Post-Construction Water Level Monitoring:
● Upon completion of regional spine services construction, additional water quality sampling and water level measurements will be completed.
● Wells identified as being impacted by regional construction will be closely monitored to determine if their conditions return to an acceptable level.
Durham Region’s Well Interference Policy
Provides relief to residents where their private well has been impacted by the construction of regional services only (i.e. NOT in relation to construction of housing/subdivisions).
●Applies when there is a negative impact, such as:
● Lowering of the water level in the well beyond a usable level; and/or
● Negative impact on the quality of the water.
● Temporary Relief: If a temporary negative impact occurs (identified during Phase 3 monitoring), then the region will provide potable water until such time that the well returns to a usable level.
● Permanent Relief: If it is determined that the impact is permanent (identified during Phase 4 monitoring), then the region would cover the cost of drilling a new well(s).The Region confirmed that because Whitevale is deemed outside the serviced area and services will not be provided to the hamlet, the only permanent option available would be the drilling of a new well(s) and would not include connecting to the regional water supply.
A copy of the Region’s Well Interference Policy can be downloaded here.
● Various resource materials were provided by WSP and are available at the WACC for residents’ access
● A map of area wells can be downloaded here.
A representative from WSP will be in Whitevale starting this coming Tuesday, in order to start work on completing the surveys and sampling. If you plan to participate and haven’t yet signed up, please contact Scott Watson (of WSP) by email at Scott.Watson@wspgroup.com or by phone: 705-445-0064, to schedule your appointment. They would like to have the surveys completed ASAP to allow sufficient time for a 1-year pre-construction monitoring program. For those on the west side of Whitevale who didn’t receive the survey, you are encouraged to contact WSP directly, as the decision was made during the meeting to now include all property owners within the hamlet boundaries.
The WDRA executive and members of the Water Preservation Committee are firmly committed to working toward ensuring that residents are kept informed during this important process. We believe that it is essential that the hamlet have a comprehensive database of existing well water conditions in the event that there is a problem. This study provides us with the opportunity to achieve this objective while having it paid for by the developers. The more residents that participate, the better and more reliable the information/data the community will have in the future if we need it.
We will continue to keep you posted on any new developments.