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Water Today Title October 1, 2020

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Advisory of the day
2020/8/31

FLEMING,SK: YOU CAN’T DRINK THE WATER BUT YOU CAN FIND EXTRAORDINARY LIGHT



Suzanne Forcese

Located 6 km west of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border on Trans-Canada Hwy 1, the smallest official town (population 80) in the province was named after Sir Sandford Fleming, the country’s distinguished engineer, surveyor, and inventor of Standard Time.

Unfortunately, the town’s water is not potable.

WATERTODAY received the following email statement from Chad Glascock (Communications, Agricultural Water Management Strategy) regarding information from the Water Security Agency:

“The Town of Fleming is experiencing challenging raw water conditions. Currently, there is inadequate disinfection of the treated water, as well as manganese levels higher than the Health Canada Drinking Water Quality Guidelines. The values of the disinfection by-products - total trihalomethanes and haloacteic acids - are also well above the Saskatchewan Drinking Water Quality Objectives. A decision to issue a Do Not Drink Advisory was made and issued to the community on Tuesday (8/25/2020) based on these compounding factors, which are unable to all be resolved by boiling the water. It is uncertain when raw water conditions will improve, but usually do so when cooler days occur and dissolved oxygen levels improve in the raw water reservoir.”

There is however an oasis along the Trans-Canada tourist trek near Fleming: 'The Extraordinary Light Gallery and Café', where homemade Saskatoon pie and an art gallery attract a plethora of visitors yearly.



WT had the pleasure of speaking with Brent Parkin, artist and pie baker extraordinaire, “Sometimes the locals will call me after closing and ask ‘you got any pie?’ and then I know I’ll be sticking around for a few hours.”

As for the water Parkin says “It happens often. For us it’s a non-issue we use bottled water for everything.”

Regrettably, Brent and his wife Heather are not open this season due to the COVID -19 situation.

Parkin who also does art shows around Canada is offering digital reproductions of paintings and photographs for all artists from his home in Regina during this time.

The Extraordinary Light Gallery and Café will reopen in June 2021 for the summer season.

The unique style of Parkin’s work is all about capturing light to evoke an emotional response. “Just as a painter chooses colours and textures when they paint, I select shutter speeds, aperture settings, my position, lens type and more to bring my vision and experience of the scene to life.”


“It’s not photojournalism. It’s photographic art.” – Brent Parkin


If you wish to linger a little longer in Fleming, Parkin tells us there is a campground and the Windsor serves up a great steak.

Come for the pie. Stay for the light.

suzanne.f@watertoday.ca

































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