(Walk Route Pictured Above)
For Immediate Release - May 10,2019
The Concerned Residents Coalition is walking to save the water on Saturday, May 11 at noon, leaving from the St. John’s Anglican Church Green in the heart of Rockwood and culminating at Rockwood’s Water Tower in Southeast Rockwood, high on a ridge in the Paris Galt Moraine.
Mike Schreiner will participate along with three local young activists, Rand Peter (Nassagaweya), Nami Ohno (Rockwood) and Spencer Lippa (Halton Hills) who will lead the walk.
CRC will also be joined by Wellington Water Watchers, ACTION (Campbellville), Transition Guelph, Eden Mills Going Carbon Neutral, Elora’s Save Our Water and Guelph’s Protect Our Moraine.
What is at stake? If the Hidden Quarry proposal by James Dick Construction Ltd. goes ahead, the aquifer that supplies so many local wells, including Rockwood’s municipal Well #4, could become contaminated. All drinking water in Rockwood and the surrounding areas of Milton and Eramosa is groundwater accessed by wells. Rockwood’s newest Well #4, not yet operational, is just 1000 metres from the proposed Hidden Quarry site.
The Concerned Residents Coalition is alerting residents, and the government of Ontario, to the possibility of another Walkerton if James Dick Construction Ltd.’s application for the Hidden Quarry is approved. As in Walkerton, the Eramosa rock formation is karst, featuring fissures and openings through which water can travel unpredictably and further and faster than in solid bedrock. As in Walkerton, cattle and horse farms surround the site.
The proposed Hidden Quarry would be blasted 23 metres below the water table after removal of up to 18 metres of moraine till, topsoil and woodlands. Concerns about the potential negative impacts on water are four-fold:
1. Destruction of the Paris-Galt Moraine, essential to water filtration, recharge and storage for the Grand River Watershed;
2. Dramatic changes in water levels in both upstream and downstream wells;
3. Damage to significant wetlands and creeks;
4. Contamination of streams and private and public wells.
James Dick Construction Ltd. asserts that there can be no interaction between the quarry and Well #4. However, CRC’s groundwater modelling expert offers a cautionary opinion, finding that significant uncertainty exists in the modelling of groundwater flow in the area. As a consequence, there is a risk that flow from the quarry could carry contaminants to the aquifer feeding the well. Contamination would be possible because the open pit would mix groundwater with surface water including run-off from surrounding farms.
The Ontario government must protect Rockwood’s drinking water and Stop the Hidden Quarry.
CRC is a party to the upcoming LPAT (Local Planning Appeals Tribunal) Hearing beginning on May 21 at Guelph Eramosa Township offices. CRC is bringing 7 experts including two hydrogeologists to the Hearing which will last from 6 – 8 weeks.
11:30 am- Gather on the St. John’s Church Green/Market, Downtown Rockwood
12 noon – Walk to the Water Tower
12:30 – Presentations at the Water Tower – Mike Schreiner will speak.
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