Reconsidering Water Wells Inside a City like Cornwall – Letter to the Editor by Harry Valentine – April 3, 2014

LTE UGrowing concerns about rising rates of AUTISM have prompted research and speculation as to the cause of the syndrome that affects thousands of children nationwide. Some researchers suggest that compounds contained in some vaccines may be a possible cause of autism, while other researchers claim that the cause may be compounds and pollutants that occur in municipal water and in the environment. Previous televised documentaries have revealed that municipal water testing focuses on only a few pollutants and contaminants.


When people who are on medication such as birth control pills or anti-depressants relieve themselves in their bathrooms, some of that medication passes right through them and into the municipal sewer systems. Except that municipal wastewater treatment plants are UNABLE to remove pharmaceutical medications and drugs from the sewer water, prior to its release into lakes and rivers located upstream of a city like Cornwall. Municipal water filtration plants are equally UNABLE to remove medications and drugs prior to distributing water to the municipality.


Mainstream media such as CBC and CTV have broadcast documentaries on the effects of pharmaceutical contaminants in the water supply. Only very highly specialized testing techniques that are NOT part of standard municipal water testing can discover and identify these compounds. A city’s treated municipal water may pass the standard tests while containing medical compounds. The documentaries revealed dropping rates of male fertility, un-descended testes and micro-penises in newborn male infants around the Great Lakes, with medical compounds and estrogens in municipal water being a probable cause.


As a result, many people opt for bottled water for household drinking and cooking. All major supermarkets in Cornwall sell bottled water. The other option is for private property owners to drill down some 10-metres into the earth install small wells and water pumps on their premises. Most private homes across Cornwall receive municipal water and sewer services, meaning that there may be sufficient ground water for drinking and cooking purposes. Large private properties located close to the dam and to the waterfront would have ample ground water for such purposes.


Many residents located in the outlying areas may already have wells on their properties. They have the option to continue to use well water for drinking and cooking even after they receive municipal water sourced from the St Lawrence River. In Cornwall, properties located near Power Dam Driver and south of Vincent Massey Drive may have a high water table, the result of slow seepage from Lake St Lawrence passing deep under the dam walls combined with snow and rainfall occurring on the expanse of land located between Power Dam Drive and the dam wall.


Municipal wastewater treatments plants empty so-called treated water that may be loaded with pharmaceutical compounds into Lakes Michigan, Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario from large cities that include Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Windsor, Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester, Hamilton, Toronto and Oshawa. A city like Cornwall is located downriver from these large cities. A cocktail of medical and pharmaceutical compounds likely pass right through their wastewater treatment plants as well as through our water treatment plant.


Medical and health official advised Cornwall City Council of a high rate of illness among city residents, yet seemed to be at a loss to explain or identify the probable cause of that high rate. A percentage of Cornwall and area population may be able to afford the added cost of bottled water (for drinking and cooking), or the cost of installing a well on their properties to provide an alternate source of water for drinking and cooking purposes. Another percentage of residents may be able to obtain well water from friends of relatives who live near Cornwall.


A significant number of people live to a great age in the countryside around Cornwall. In those areas, people traditionally drank well water and ate homegrown fruit and vegetables from trees and plants that had access to relatively clean ground water. People who distrust the water supply and who are concerned about their families’ long-term health, have the option of bottled water, installing wells on their property or obtaining well water from friends and relatives.  

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  1. Well water is the best but don’t forget that wells have to be filled every year and sometimes a number of times and that costs big time as well. Well water is the healthiest way to go. If I ever lived outside of the city that is what I would do. When we lived in Cornwall that is when my daughter came down with thyroid disease and I sure do blame the water and the air for all of this and many people are afflicted with this disease and it affects men as well. Children have it as well both male and female and many people are walking around not knowing what is wrong with them and it takes a good family doctor who will take his or her time and do a full family history and a full diagnosis. Not all people have a family history of this disease. Most doctors have no clue of anything at all these days and I don’t know where many get their medical degrees from. About autism I do agree about the vaccines and the vaccines are not the only cause. What is wrong with the vaccines are the over abundance of the drugs given to infants and young children. I was speaking to my husband and he said that in his country it is rare that people get vaccinated. With all the diseases going around I would prefer to vaccinate and I had my children vaccinated. It was next to impossible to get me vaccinated way back in the 50’s, etc. and I had a very good pediatrician back then. I do agree with what Mr. Valentine posted about the drugs in the water (pharmaceuticals, etc.) and even the bottled water that you purchase in the stores is not really kosher to use either – it is all a trick. I see a lot of this being sold but it still isn’t the answer. I personally would never live in Cornwall with the mighty high pollutants. Check out that dump that Domtar left aka Big Ben and also check out the former dump at Optomist Park that seeps into peoples homes. Even though Domtar, Courthaulds and others left the pollutants are still in the air and ground water and it can take hundreds of years to go away if ever.

  2. Thanks for posting your comments, Jules. An acquaintance who is also a nurse told of taking urine samples from women who were taking birth control pills . . . . lab testing revealed that compounds from those pills were in the urine. Several million women who live around the Great Lakes take such pills and flushing the by-products through municipal sewage treatment plants and into the lakes . . . and the drug by-products even pas through municipal water treatment plants.

    Wells that contain water from snowfall and rainfall would likely contain fewer medical (and industrial) by-products than water sourced from the Great Lakes.

    Further information on compounds in the environment that may lead to autism and fertility problems are in the article at:

  3. While many area residents are buying bottled spring well water from area supermarkets, there may be the option of area citizens’ groups forming well-water co-ops. There are several swamps in the surrounding area, including right inside Cornwall’s industrial park where a well of 100-ft depth may be installed along with a hand or foot-powered water pump, provided the Ministry of Natural Resources is willing. Co-op members would have a key to the pump and fill their water containers. In the town of St Albert, there is a natural spring well located near the cheese factory . . . . many residents in that area regularly fill water containers and use that water for drinking and cooking purposes.

    There is also the option of citizens’ co-ops negotiating with land owners located in the surrounding area to install wells with pumps on those lands. At least much of that water may be free from the medical and industrial by-products that flow by in the St Lawrence River. The other option is for private companies to negotiate to gain access to ground water that is located at a distance from the river.

  4. Author

    I love that idea Harry! Am tired of boiling and Brita filtering the water for my pets and myself.

  5. I don’t know who to believe. Some “experts” say flouride and vaccinations are good for us. Other “experts” say flouride and vaccinations are not good for us. Whom do you believe? Until someone comes out with definitive answers I’ll continue to follow my doctor’s advice. But I doubt if a definitive answer will ever be found, as the “experts” will never agree.

  6. As an added comment I lived outside of Orleans for over 12 years and we had a well. I will never, ever again use well water. To put it simply it was the worst 12 years of my life when it came to water and it’s taste, odour, etc. We always had the water tested and the results were okay. We were told it was okay to drink, etc. But the technician said he wouldn’t recommend drinking it or cooking with it. Some wells are good, some aren’t.

  7. Obviously it all depends on where the well is located. My well is on higher ground, well away from the barn and septic system. No filtering or purification required.
    What’s so difficult about the concept that sh!t (e-coli) flows downhill?

  8. You want to learn about cleaning naturally go on the frugal website and they have everything there that you need to make natural cleaning products. You will laugh at first but it is no joke. One time my husband sold some wheels of a car that he once owned to a teacher in Hamilton. My husband used baking soda and water to clean those greasy, grimy wheels and they were spotless to send to Hamilton. The man was a teacher and he asked my husband how he got them so clean and my husband told him. Those harsh chemicals are bad for your lungs and mighty dangerous for cancer, etc. Even Martha Stewart learned about cleaning green.

  9. We tried everything when I lived outside Orleans. The landlord even had a new well dug, with no success.

  10. RAIN BARRELS – Many big cities charge a high rate for their municipal water, resulting in several home owners investing in rain barrels to store water for their (vegetable) gardens. Needless to say, garden vegetables grown with rain barrel water often has a lower (measured) chemical content that the same vegetables grown with municipal water. People who cultivate vegetable gardens may wish to check the option of using rain barrel water.

    MOONSHINE STILLS – this old and proven technology can assure clean drinking water . . . you need to check the legality of the coiled copper pipe, as the moonshine still had many other uses

  11. Mr. Valentine I learned a lot about the collection of rain for gardens using rain barrels from the frugal site when there used to be a different owner of the site who lives in Colorado and she lives frugally and waters her garden in that method. People were protesting here in Ottawa at Bob Chiarelli’s office because of the high rates of electricity and everything is going up in price. Just a while ago on Yahoo’s news it said that the price of beef is going up in the stores as well as the restaurants. Isn’t it about time that people learn how to stretch a dollar. When you buy meat you just don’t make one meal out of it but many unless you are a big family and learn how to shop wisely. This is something that a lot of people do not know how to do. I was telling people some years back here on CFN to make a garden to as to help feed their families. My parents always had a garden even to the time when mom passed away. People who had very big families in the past to the present make gardens to survive but make them in the backyard and not the front yard. I make quilts to keep warm while sleeping and they are the best. I have some old sheets that belonged to my children and I have old clothes that I cut up that are not good anymore and I am using those old sheets and they are being made into quilts for their beds. I have new material as well for both my children and my husband and I for our bed. I have things right in front of me now to work on. People should never complain here in Canada because we have a lot to be thankful for. Learn to live a frugal lifestyle and you will survive. Money doesn’t buy happiness and a lot of times it only brings misery.

  12. Holy smoke, I agree with Jules. Time for people to get creative in how they do things if the governments are not going to provide answers to simple problems.

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