JOIN THE SOS SAVE THE WELL SUPPORTERS AND ATTEND THE BOARD MEETING AT THE HAMILTON CONSERVATION AUTHORITY HEADQUARTERS TONIGHT – BRING SIGNS AND PLACARDS! BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS!
AGENDA FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Santina Moccio indicated that we have four delegations in regards to the closure of Ancaster Well.
4.1 Delegation – Keith Baker
Keith Baker provided a verbal presentation. He indicated that he has used this water for a long time and he hopes that we can come up with a definite solution to keep the well open in perpetuity.
4.2 Delegation – Joel Moran
Joel Moran provided a verbal presentation and indicated that he has been working on this project to prevent the closure of the well since April. They have met all the challenges and have validated all the science studies. He indicated that it is not a small drinking water system and it is not connected to City water. Joel indicated that he has contacted five law firms and two firms are interested in looking into this.
Board of Directors -3- October 5, 2017
4.3 Delegation – David Murray
David Murray provided a verbal presentation. He indicated that he is new to the area and discovered the well just a few years ago. He indicated that he has done a lot of research on this and the previous owner “The Bill Kennedy Family” wanted the community to have an alternate source of water supply. The well should be left open, not gated, with open access to the public.
4.4 Delegation – Erin Davis
Erin Davis provided a verbal presentation and indicated that the public are all here for their own personal issues.
Erin made many points during her presentation and indicated that the property is the legacy of the Kennedy Family and he deeded this property to the public in perpetuity.
We have summarized the following key issues that have been voiced to Save Our Spring, and which were raised at the HCA Board meeting on September 7.
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.