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CHIP WRECKED FOOD TRUCK, INGLESIDE, ON: THE CHALLENGES OF WATER ADVISORIES IN MOBILE FOOD SERVICES AND A LOOK AT SOUTH STORMONT TOWNSHIP 21-YEARS LATER
Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) confirms a standing boil water advisory – issued on May 27, 2019 - for the “Chip Wrecked” food truck, operating near Ingleside, ON in South Stormont Township.
According to EOHU, a “Boil Water Advisory is issued when authorities suspect or have confirmed the presence of harmful microorganisms in the drinking water supply.” Operating under the boil water advisory means that the mobile food service must use water boiled for one minute, or bottled water for drinking, making ice cubes, juices or other mixes to be consumed. Boiled or bottled water must also be used for food preparation, including washing raw fruits and vegetables.
WaterToday spoke with Rami Basha, Program Manager for the Food Safety and Safe Water programs of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. Mr. Basha explained, “mobile food services come in all shapes and sizes, and present some challenges” for safe water management, given that some are connected to the municipal source water, some may be hooked up to a well system. In the case of Chip Wrecked, it is a unique case, being a very small operation, makes use of water storage tanks for potable water used in food preparation and sanitation. The source water from Ingleside is good, but in the case of the mobile food truck, “where storage tanks are used for the potable water, these have to be cleaned regularly and sanitized, and this is the issue with Chip Wrecked,” says Basha. “For now, the business is operating, but they have to boil the water”.
In order to remedy the water situation for Chip Wrecked, the business needs to address the storage tank sanitation and submit two daily water samples for testing that fall in line with EOHU regulations for Safe Water. WaterToday attempted to contact Mrs. Lordi, listed with the municipality as the owner/operator of the mobile poutinerie to find out how the business is managing with the water advisory but had no reply at the time of publication.
WaterToday caught up with South Stormont Mayor, Bryan McGillis as he was finishing up teaching early morning guitar lessons. It seems the municipal administration here have the musical talent, as the Mayor’s sister and former council member Tanya McRae is also a popular local musician, appearing on the Saturday evening lineup of the annual Stormont County Fair, having its 152nd run on the September long weekend.
Mayor McGillis explained that an amalgamation of former Osnabruck and Cornwall Townships, two of the original Royal settlements of Upper Canada, took place in 1998 to form the present South Stormont Township. Ingleside is one of two new communities master planned for the relocation of displaced residents from some of the villages flooded by the 1958 Seaway and Power Dam project.
Photo reprinted with permission from South Stormont web site
The area is beautiful, to be sure. Long Sault Parkway links eleven islands in the St. Lawrence River, along the route of the Lost Villages. South Stormont features popular campgrounds, 26 km of scenic riverfront and the longest public beach in Ontario, Mille Roches.
According to Mayor McGillis, South Stormont, and Ingleside within it, has many attributes that he is proud of.
“The area is experiencing a burst of residential growth, among the highest increase in new residents happening in Eastern Ontario. We have beautiful waterfront, our location is second to none in terms of location, next to 401, United States border, close to Toronto and Montreal, we are in between. We have a great community. We’re not that big, people know each other, we have a lot of great volunteers, seniors.”
According to Stats Canada 2016 Census, this seems to be a great place to raise a family.
The population of South Stormont County, including the village of Ingleside, topped 13,000 residents in 2016. According to StatsCanada 2016 numbers, South Stormont has a considerably lower rate of singles and single parent households than the national average.
According to Mayor Bryan McGillis, married to his high school sweetheart 37 years, “Yeah, that’s because of our quality of life, standard of living here! People come here, bring their kids, it’s a great way of life here. We are looking at recruiting more doctors, the townships have built a new medical centre which they lease out to a team of doctors, and looking to recruit more because we are growing so fast…It doesn’t surprise me that those stats are what they are.”
As for the tourism appeal of South Stormont, Mayor McGillis says, “A lot of people are coming out from Quebec, coming to our beaches and campsites because of the heat. We have a a great tourist area. I often get on my motorcycle; my wife and I will go for a ride through there. It’s paradise, we love it!”
Mayor McGillis explains that people are getting right into the biking frenzy, “Everybody is pedalling now, a lot of people now getting involved, going from place to place. When they are out here, we put them up in hotels. There are bike paths going straight through, all over the place, all over Eastern Ontario. You can bike along the river, its beautiful scenery.” To top it off, the Mayor added, “Of course we have bird watchers, great fishing here, we have great hunting, we have a lot of great things happening. “
Mayor McGillis has been in for three terms, serving from 2006 to 2014, and re-elected 2018, adding “I was a councillor from age 27, before the amalgamation,” of the 12 townships.
As for how this area is affected by climate change, Mayor McGillis says, “We have seen our water levels change in our river, but it’s just because of the problems in existence back in the seaway, so its man-made, to do with the power dams. It’s getting warmer, my opinion is that the summer seasons are getting warmer for sure. You know, it’s a concern, about that. In terms of recycling, we make sure we have a curbside two bag limit, we recycle, we are very environmentally conscious of what we are doing.”
Stormont County Fair is the last hurrah of the season, taking place on the weekend just before the kids get back to school. The Mayor and other dignitaries took part in the 152nd Stormont Fair parade on Saturday morning, August 31. A complete list of events can be found at https://stormontcountyfair.weebly.com.
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