Friday, July 04, 2008

Water Supply Woes Whereever I Wander

It seems, with the notable exception of Fredericton, NB's grade A+ water, I can't seem to move to a location where there isn't a problem with the water supply. I happened to be living in Thunder Bay (pop. 125,000) when E. Coli levels in an aging resevoir on the west side of town (owing in part to contamination from a large goose population) resulted in about 50 % of residents being on a boil water order for over 6 months. Then I moved to Kashechewan, infamous for its ongoing drinking water issues (due to inadequate maintenace of sewage pond outflows, the water treatment plant and overall flaws in the design of the systems given the tidal nature of the Albany River, the presence of dam building beavers, and the actual population living in the town of Kashechewan (pop. 1500-2000) being double the capacity of the water treatment plant). Now I am moving to Baker Lake, and it appears that there are several concerns regarding the safety of the water supply. I understand from other articles that recent improvements have been made to prevent contamination to the lake from the dump during the spring flood. Today, I stumbled across an article on the CBC website citing concerns by the Hamlet's Mayor regarding historic fuel spills on the east part of the town. Although, there has not been contamination of the drinking water supply yet by the slowly moving plume of hydrocarbons, future problems are possible. It appears that these spills, like those in Attiwapiskat occurred when a federal agency was in charge of delivering fuel to the community. Sigh - that water resource engineering degree might come in handy afterall. I'm thinking that it might be fun to work a bit of groundwater hydraulics into one of the senior courses - as much as I really don't like the idea of my future water supply being at risk, I think it would be cool to turn it into a real-life, relevant teaching opportunity. So, I guess I'll add that to my list of lessons to design in my spare time.

The movers have come and gone and now there is just over a month before I leave. (YIKES!!!) The move went pretty smoothly - the guys were professional and efficient and the weather was perfect - sunny, calm and cool - so we carried out the process on the driveway which is way nicer than it would have been had there been stairs, doors, and furniture to work around. I finally found insulated rubber boots in my size at Canadian Tire - I suspect that there isn't much demand for serious warm wear for women, since everyone seems to have way better selection in mens gear - and I had to get my boots in boys sizes - but I think that is the last major thing I needed. I will need good winter boots, but no one carries them in June for some reason. Hopefully as I get closer to the fall they will start coming in... Its definately been an interesting experience moving up north - and I haven't even left yet. *mental musical interlude* Due North... thats the way I'm headed..... Due-ooh North
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Blogger Wonder Woman! said...

It is exciting but kinda crazy that you are going north in a month. I wanna see you... and now that I am moving closer, you are moving further... haha.
Gosh I am gonna miss you... ;)
It's gonna come sooo fast...

10:32 AM  

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