Volume 94, Issue 35

Wednesday, November 1, 2000


NEWS

Concordia money vanishes

USC answers - where's the beef?

Buses keep rolling

USC Senator voting rights in question

Province throws the money into water

Tobacco companies get stubbed out

Campus Briefs

London miffed over Toronto garbage plan

Students protest York U. strike

Corroded Disorder

Province throws the money into water



By Mike Murphy
Gazette Staff



Monday in Mississauga, Ontario's Environment Ministry introduced its latest project to improve the province's ground water testing capabilities.

At the Thames River Conservation Authority in London, Ted Briggs reacted to the $6 million announcement with cautious praise.

"I think it's a good start," he said. "It's not really a new plan," he added. "There's been a well-testing program in place for a while now. It just kind of lost its way with the government's cuts the past few years."

Ontario well water levels and the quality of water will both get increased scrutiny under the new plan, confirmed Ministry spokesperson Lynne Hamilton.

The new project is not, however, a knee-jerk reaction to last summer's drinking water disaster in Walkerton, she said.

"This was brought about in our 2000 budget," Hamilton said. "It was previous to anything happening in Walkerton."

She added over the next three years, the $6 million the government pledged Monday, will pay for about 400 electronic well-level monitors, a provincial ground water information database and an increase in the chemical analysis of water samples.

"Our's is more of a money commitment," she said, explaining the province's many conservation authorities will be the ones carrying out the increased testing.

Briggs said the monitors will conveniently provide data on how much ground water is available and allow the UTRCA to identify drought conditions more quickly. He said the new plan will also provide for quality assessments of the 10 to12 wells being scrutinized.

"Once or twice a year the well water will be sampled," he said.

Amarjeet Bassi, assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering at Western, said it is important for authorities to be aware of water levels.

"If the water levels get low, the amount of contamination can get more concentrated," he said.


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