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News Article

Well water session too technical: residents

Eric McGuinness
The Hamilton Spectator
Thursday, June 3, 2004, p. A05

WATERDOWN - The issue of a proposed Carlisle-area quarry dominated the early part of a public meeting on results of a citywide Hamilton well water protection study.

But even that took second place to complaints from many in the small audience that they couldn't see, hear or understand the technical presentation that relied heavily on terms like "surficial materials, transmissivity and conductivity."

As Carlisle-area resident Dave Mercer walked out of the Waterdown District High School auditorium, he said: "What a waste of time. With such an important issue in terms of supply of water in Carlisle last year (when use was restricted), you'd think these people would have come prepared to address the possibility of a quarry."

Mark Bainbridge, from the city's water and wastewater treatment section, explained Monday night's public information session was the second and final one for a two-year project to map the supply and flow of groundwater, identify possible contamination sources and recommend protection measures. The work was done with Environment Ministry funding by SNC-Lavalin Engineers and Constructors and the hydrogeological consulting firm of Charlesworth and Associates. The public was invited to wander past maps and display boards from 5 to 8 p.m., with a presentation at 6:30.

By a little past 7, when SNC-Lavalin's Helen Jackson was presenting technical maps, some in the audience became impatient and interrupted. "Why are we being subjected to this presentation when we can't see or hear it?" asked one man. "I'd like it in laymen's terms. I rely on a well and live beside a quarry and am interested in what this department will do to protect our water."

The discussion then moved to the plan for a 150-hectare quarry at Milburough Line and 11th Concession East. In answer to a question from area resident Mark Rudolph, city consultant Bill Blackport said he couldn't say what impact the quarry might have on Carlisle wells but, "You are right to be concerned."

emcguinness@thespec.com
905-526-4650

 


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