On Sept 5th the Save Our Spring Committee sent a letter to the HCA –. Within the letter we offered alternative solutions to closure or fencing of the well. We also suggested that closing the well was directly against the legal land covenants.
Many members of the community were surprised at the move by the Hamilton Conservation Authority to move the vote for the Solution for the Ancaster Well from the November to the October board meeting as during this Community Process we all thought that we would have a larger discussion around possible solutions.
As you know Lloyd Ferguson did not support the concept of transfer of ownerships of the Well to a Community group, and he did not support changing the classification of the well to “artisan” to allow free continued access. He was indeed the champion of only one solution, Privatization. Many people within our community feel that this is a conflict of interest to his role as Town Council and that he should be removed from this process on conflict of interest.
The SOS Committee has now split Chris Krucker has decided to re-name his group to the Valley Water Watchers. SOS will continue to organize SOS events and support the SOS website. Many citizens want to know the answers to the following questions, and receive a formal response to the attached SOS letter.
In addition to the concerns around the legislation – there are also concerns around this political process.
Could you please respond in writing to these process related questions?
Why was the vote for the Ancaster Well Solution moved from Nov to Oct. and why was the public or any community groups not advised prior?
Why were no other solutions considered other than fencing?
This question directly to Lisa Burnside, in a phone conversation you advised me that you were advised by the Board not to attend the Spring Valley home owner’s association meeting or the Oct Board meeting. Why was this decision made?
Please further explain the policy that no one votes against a sitting Councilor in his own riding. I understand that Aiden Johnson is the first Councilor to do this in the History of the HCA. Is this an official policy and what were Aiden’s objections, and how were they handled?
Does the HCA intend to null the Land Deed with the City of Hamilton and what is the process for that to happen?
Please can you supply evidence of an order to close the well from the health dept.
August 5, 2017
Dear City Councilors,
We sincerely appreciate the hard work you do representing the citizens of the greater Hamilton community, and the time you volunteer to sit on the Board of the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority.
You will soon be casting a vote to close or to preserve the Ancaster Well.
We represent Save Our Spring (SOS), a team of concerned citizen volunteers working together to save the Ancaster Well as a continuing open water source for the community. We are currently gathering information on how and to what extent this water is being used within our community. We will be sharing our findings with you at the next HCA board meeting on September 7, 2017.
Wesincerelyaskthatyougivecarefulconsiderationtoourconcernsbeforecastingyourvote. Closingthiswatersourcewillforcethousandsinourcommunitytoturntobottledwaterastheir primary drinking water source. This is clearly an undesirable outcome from an environmental and community standpoint. In addition, this water has a very real connection to our local heritageandtothepsychologicalandeconomicwell-beingofthoseinourcommunity.Weurge you to consider these and the following points in the context of your mandate to serve your community.
Small Drinking Water Systems
The Hamilton Conservation Authority indicates it has been advised by the City of Hamilton Health Services that the Ancaster Well is a Small Drinking Water System as defined under Ontario Regulation 319/08 of the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act. However we believe this interpretation is too broad and that Ontario Regulation 319/08 is meant to apply to more formal water distribution systems that are connected to domestic or commercial plumbing systems. Paragraph 6(2)(b) of the Regulation reads:
Every owner and every operator shall,
(b) ensure that all water provided by the system to the point where the system is connected to a user’s plumbing system meets the requirements established by this Regulation or under the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards
The Ancaster Well is not connected to any user’s domestic or commercial plumbing system.
Small Drinking Water Systems have a higher flow rate than the current Ancaster Well. The relevant language in subsection 1(2) of the Regulation states:
a drinking water system […] that is not capable of supplying drinking water at a rate of more than 2.9 litres per second will only be considered to be a small drinking water system if the system serves a public facility. O. Reg. 319/08, s. 1 (2).
The Ancaster Well does not serve a public facility.
Intent of Legislation
We believe an interpretation that would apply this legislation to the Ancaster Well is too broad. As a matter of statutory interpretation this legislation is intended to regulate humanly manufactured water distribution systems. The rationale is that if one engineers a water system one is responsible for safely maintaining it. The Ancaster Well water flows naturally from the ground under its own pressure in its natural unadulterated form. We believe it is not the aim of this legislation to regulate naturally flowing, untreated mineral water from deep source wells such as the Ancaster Well. SOS urges councillors to come forward to redress this overstep as our elected representatives and protect this valuable natural water source.
Regulation 319/08 can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/080319
It has come to our attention that a number of Haudenosaunee families use the Ancaster Well. In the spirit of the recommendations of the Final Report of the Canadian Commission on Truth and Reconciliation, we respectfully request that the HCA initiate a consultation with the Haudenosaunee of Six Nations as is morally and legally appropriate before taking any decision or action affecting the continuation of the availability of this water source.
SOS has reviewed the transfer documentation for the land where the Ancaster Well is located. The relevant language is below with a full abstract included as Schedule A.
Schedule to Transfer provides as follows:
“WHEREAS it is recognized that it is appropriate that there be certain restrictions placed on the lands being transferred herein, the Transferor and the Transferee covenant and agree as follows:
- That the Transferee will maintain in perpetuity continued public access to well number 8, located on the land being transferred herein; 2. That the transferee will not charge a user fee for public access to the water supply available at well number 8, but may, instead, install a voluntary contribution box at or in the vicinity of well number 8; and 3. The Transferee assumes all responsibility and liability, if any, related to the water supply produced by well number 8.”
We urge you to consider the depth of connection and importance of this water source to your community constituents. We firmly believe that with appropriate signage the way is clear to continue making this natural spring water available to those who choose to use it. In fact we believe the HCA is legally obliged to do so.
We look forward to seeing all of you at the upcoming Board meeting.
Steering Committee, Save Our Spring (SOS) Cc Board Members HCA
PT LT 41, CON 1 ANCASTER , AS IN VM150487 ;
S/T AB146681,AB337991,HL303384 ANCASTER, CITY OF HAMILTON
Consideration, Notes & Comments Easement 28-Jan-65
Kennedy & Kennedy PUC of TWP of Ancaster Consideration = $25.00 Purpose = water main & fire hydrant construction and maintenance
Easement 10-Jul-69 Kennedy & Kennedy PUC of TWP of Ancaster
Purpose = water drain construction for draining and pumping water from the pumping station on PUC lands to a creek on lands of the Grantors
Affidavit re Agreement between Kennedy & Kennedy and PUC of TWP of Ancaster of 31 December 1973 27-May-74 Hugh Fairbairn McKerracher, Sol.
For PUC of TWP of Ancaster
Statutory declaration re settlement of claim for losses due to well drilling and water extraction leading to a lowering of the water table.
PUC Twp. Of Ancaster paid $550.00 to Kennedy & Kennedy
Kennedy & Kennedy granted an easement in perpetuity to the PUC of the TWP of Ancaster (10 feet wide to be used for installation and maintenance of a 1.5 inch water service
Kennedy & Kennedy agree to release and indemnify the PUC from any claims due to lowering of the water table now or in the future in consideration of this payment
Transfer/Deed of Land Signed 13 August 1992, registered 8 April 1993
Regional Municipality of Hamilton Wentworth The Corporation of the Town of Ancaster
Includes easement “required for the purposes of installing and maintaining water mains and appurtenances, 10 foot wide, including the right to pass over, along and use as a right of way
Affidavit of Residence and of Value appended (dated 7 April 1993) states “A return of lands from The regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth to the Corporation of the Town of Ancaster for no consideration.” fee paid “Total consideration….$1.00”
Transfer/Deed of Land 13-Oct-98
The Corporation of the Town of Ancaster Hamilton region Conservation AuthorityThis Transfer/Deed of Land is identical to the Restrictive Covenant registered on title on the same day. It is the practice if Service Ontario and agents to make the Restrictive Covenant explicit in this way. Consideration = $55,000.00
Schedule to Transfer provides as follows: “WHEREAS it is recognized that it is appropriate that there be certain restrictions placed on the lands being transferred herein, the Transferor and the Transferee covenant and agree as follows: 1. That the Transferee will maintain in perpetuity continued public access to well number 8, located on the land being transferred herein; 2. That the transferee will not charge a user fee for public access to the water supply available at well number 8, but may, instead, install a voluntary contribution box at or in the vicinity of well number 8; and 3. The Transferee assumes all responsibility and liability, if any, related to the water supply produced by well number 8.”
SOS – SAVE OUR SPRING C/O Manorun Organic Farm, 782 Hwy 52, Lynden Ontario, L0R 1T0