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Water Today Title November 18, 2019

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Advisory of the Day


2019/10/23

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GRASSY NARROWS, ON: CHIEF SAYS WE WILL BE DRINKING TAP WATER IN FEBRUARY"



Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation inhabiting northern Kenora, Ontario, have been on a Do Not Consume Advisory since 9 tonnes of mercury was dumped upstream into the English and Wabigoon River systems by a paper mill in Dryden, Ontario, in the 1960s. Over 90% of the 1,000 community members of Grassy Narrows have signs of mercury poisoning, many requiring long-term care that is only available in larger cities.

The World Health Organization states that unborn foetuses are most susceptible to mercury poisoning. Children are likely to be born with impaired neurological development -- cognitive thinking, memory attention, language and fine motor skills. The most harmful effects on people are to the nervous system, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys. Mercury poisoning may be fatal.

WaterToday spoke with Chief Rudy Turtle, Its been difficult for the community because we have had to drink only bottled water. But the good news is that it is being fixed. We put enough pressure on the government and they finally agreed to fix it. Chief Turtle also said the community is growing rapidly. In 10 years time we will have close to 2000 people. So we will need a new water treatment plant.

The Grassy Narrows community is also expecting they will have a Mercury Treatment Centre built. It was one of the election promises made.

suzanne.f@watertoday.ca







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