WINCHESTER – The drinking water for Winchester and Chesterville has received, as expected, a clean bill of health according to the latest round of testing as seen in North Dundas Drinking System 2021 Annual Report put together by the Ontario Clean Water Agency.
The areas water supply is tested every year.
There was a total of 37 complaints about the colour of water from Chesterville and Winchester, including some 30 Chesterville complaints of brown water coming out of their taps. The report listed the complaints but said none of the events at any time resulted in unsafe drinking water.
Mayor Fraser agreed that there was brown water the odd time even in his water supply. “One minute it would be there and then it would be gone,” he said.
There has been a great deal of speculation about where the brown colour comes from. Some say it might be sediment stirred up in the wells that supply water to both villages, others think it might be iron deposits breaking loose from the actual pipes.
“The complaints seem to be going down,” said Fraser. The municipality has not changed how it looks after its water supply but has tried to manage its distribution system [in] different ways.
“It is just discolouration. It is all part of the municipality’s bigger plan to address its water issues.
North Dundas’ Drinking Water System is supplied by eight groundwater wells located throughout the municipality.
The water report stated: “Sodium hypochlorite (Chlorine) is used for both primary and secondary disinfection at five pump houses (two pumps at each house).
There are two storage reservoirs (Chesterville’s underground reservoir and Winchester’s at grade reservoir), two elevated tanks and approximately 51 km of distribution pipe network.”
The report said the system has been operating according to the the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, O’ Reg. 170/03, and the report did not identify any adverse water quality incidents or noncompliance with the ministry.
There has been a slight rise in increase in the number of complaints related to the aesthetic quality of the water.
The following summarizes coloured water complaints from 2020 to date:
- 2020 Winchester 3
- 2020 Chesterville 10
- 2021 Winchester 3
- 2021 Chesterville 20
- 2022 Winchester 1
- 2022 Chesterville 0
- Total 37
Because of the increase in the number of complaints on the aesthetic aspect of the water, as well as a decrease in overall capacity of well systems from initial rated capacity at the time permitted to take water (PTTW), the report said there is some urgency for the municipality to find additional, as well as alternate sources of water.
The township is currently undertaking Class EA Study to address the reliability of the township’s water system.
Sodium hypochlorite is used for both primary and secondary disinfection. Each treatment facility has two chemical feed pumps (one duty and one standby). Water leaving each treatment facility is continuously monitored for flow and free chlorine residual.
The distribution systems in Chesterville and Winchester were built in 1960.
Watermains that were installed prior to 1973 are composed of asbestos cement, and newer pipes are composed of ductile iron or PVC. The distribution system contains a total of approximately 50 kilometres of distribution piping. Chesterville and Winchester’s distribution systems operate independently of one another.
Chesterville’s elevated storage tank and reservoir accommodate Chesterville’s peak hour demands and fire flows. The elevated tank is fabricated entirely of steel and has a storage capacity of 568 m3. The reservoir consists of two equally sized underground cells and a suction well with a total capacity of 530 m3.
Winchester’s elevated storage tank and reservoir accommodate Winchester’s peak hour demands and fire flows. The elevated tank is fabricated of steel and mounted on a concrete pedestal. It has a storage capacity of 2,300 m3. The reservoir is an on-ground stainless steel baffled tank with an effective capacity of 400 m3.