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Water Today Title November 20, 2019

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Advisory of the Day


2019/10/3

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BURGOYNE, ON: ONE TINY HAMLET IN TWO MUNICIPALITES EQUALS HUGE WATER PROBLEMS



The small hamlet of Burgoyne, Ontario located in the centre of farmland, bordered by Arran-Elderslie, Saugeen Shores and Paisley has been issued a Boil Water Advisory on Burgoyne Drinking water system, Bruce#10, Burgoyne, by Inspector Jos Moerman of the Grey Bruce Health Unit. The reason for this bwa is that laboratory analysis of drinking water samples indicated:

Well... Total coliform =11; Restaurant… Total coliform =1; End of line… total coliform =2

Water has been deemed unfit for human consumption and the Advisory remains in effect until further notice. Half of the 21 households in Burgoyne are on one side of Bruce County Road 3 in the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie. The remainder are in Saugeen Shores Municipality.

Burgoyne, Aran-Elderslie   Burgoyne, Saugeen-Shores

WaterToday contacted the Municipality of Arran- Elderslie for more details. Although Mark O’Leary, Water/Sewer Foreman was unavailable for comment, WT obtained a copy of the Boil Water Advisory which states, “Water Samples collected in Burgoyne by Arran-Elderslie Operators have indicated a presence of Total Coliforms. This is an up sizing to the present Precautionary Boil Water Advisory presently in effect by the Municipality.”

The Accounting Clerk, who wished not to be named, told WT that the Advisory is still on, and indicated there was no projection for its end date.

The tiny hamlet is on the way to tourist destinations, beautiful beaches, fine dining and prime real estate in every direction.

Willa Faust, Clerk of the Burgoyne Presbyterian Church, told WT, “Our church is on a very busy corner. There’s a red flashing light and a speed limit posted, but in the summer the cars just keep whizzing by. Nobody seems to care.”

It also seems that no one seems to care about Burgoyne’s drinking water. “These advisories are nothing new,” Faust adds. “But this is the first time we have had a mandatory advisory.”

There are 21 households on the system. The system is very old and in dire need of updating. “Our water has always been smelly and stains the sink in the church.” Up until now, the church ladies have been able to manage in the kitchen since a recent renovation included a triple sink method and a dishwasher that sanitizes. However, the recent mandatory advisory means things are more complicated.

“We have thought of putting in a holding tank, but the church is considered a business and we are subject to the same rules as a business. Every time the water is tested we have to pay for it.”

And there’s the rub. It seems that the former treasurer and secretary of the Burgoyne Water Association was not up-to-date with bookkeeping. The result is that the church in now in arrears for$20,000. “We are trying to find a way to pay off the debt that was incurred for testing which included lowering a camera down the well.”

It’s very pretty country and it would have potential for new home-owners looking for solitude and an easy commute to other centres, but Faust adds the cost of a new water system to the community is not viable and therefore rendering property values worthless.

Faust said that everyone received a letter with numbers that underscore how helpless the community is. For a one time cost of $33,350 per household and a yearly cost of $3,810 each household would have access to an upgraded central water treatment system. “Who can afford that?”

While there is still the option for new dwellings to drill a well it unfortunately is not a choice for anyone on the current system.

“I just don’t know what anyone can do.”

Perhaps the community can find assistance. As well as being in the unique position of belonging to 2 municipalities, citizens of Burgoyne are represented by 2 Members of Parliament.

suzanne.f@watertoday.ca







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