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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