A History of Crisis in Our Drinking Water?



Photo from the files of the Carleton Place Canadian-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

In July of 1975 a public works committee warned that the Carleton Place water supply was threatened by over consumption. The town’s water supply and distribution system had also deteriorated to the point where only major replacements would correct the problem and a price tag of an estimated 3.5 million.

Then in February of 1985 a University of Ottawa scientist warned that our water could be unsafe if there was any increase in virus levels in the Mississippi River. At that time there were 6,000 local residents and Health and Welfare Canada found virus counts in 37% of untreated water.

In 1995 Carleton Place mayor Brian Costello had another water issue on his hands and local residents were boiling water because of low water once again and high consumption.


Photo from the files of the Carleton Place Canadian-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Last night 100 people crowded into the legion in Carleton Place for an informal community meeting. The residents of a Mississippi Mills neighbourhood recently found out their drinking water has been contaminated with chemicals found in firefighting foam. They want the neighbouring National Research Council facility shut down until the problem is resolved.



Photo from the files of the Carleton Place Canadian-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


The “long-term risk mitigation action plan that includes regular, ongoing testing of residents’ water” after chemicals were found in the drinking water. It has been said someone, presumably the NRC, has known since 2013 that there was a problem. If this had been any of us with a heating oil spill, the department of the environment would descend on us immediately and subject us to hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost to clean up the spill. The same should happen at this research facility. Chemicals are not our friends, and this is too close for comfort.

Joanne McCoy was at that meeting last night and will have a report for me later.


Possibly toxic chemicals found in drinking water near fire lab -The  Millstone


Kenneth Jackson— I remember years ago my aunt on Moffat St.got a blood-sucker in a glass of water.

Norma Ford– My Mother got a bloodsucker out of the kitchen tap at least once a year while I was growing up. She would phone the town hall and never heard anything more. It became a ritual of living on Sarah Street. She was cute, she would put it in a glass jar for the town hall to see, they always showed up to verify it and yep, it was a bloodsucker.

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