The Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge has allocated $300,000 in its proposed 2024 budget for a tested, chlorine-containing filtration system to remove arsenic from Rosslyn Village’s drinking water supply.
OLIVER PAIPOONGE – The Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge has allocated $300,000 in its 2024 proposed budget for a tested, chlorine-containing filtration system designed to remove arsenic from Rosslyn Village’s drinking water supply.
Mayor Lucy Kloosterhuis said Tuesday she expects the budget to be voted on early next month.
Kloosterhuis, who stressed that the $300,000 figure is “just an estimate,” said she hopes the arsenic removal system will be in place by spring. A contractor has yet to be selected.
“We want everyone (in the village) to have access to clean water,” she said.
About 30 households in the village of Rosslyn, whose municipal well supply remains contaminated with arsenic, have relied on bottled water since this spring.
Rosslyn’s community well system includes chlorination. It is not uncommon for well-developed drinking water systems to have elevated levels of arsenic.
In August, Ontario’s Walkerton Clean Water Center (WCWC) determined through a pilot project “that arsenic levels (in Rosslyn’s water) were reduced to acceptable levels using a chlorination filtration system,” according to a city update.
A “second WCWC testing event in October confirmed the results of the initial testing,” the update said.
The filtration system, which requires approval from the provincial Department of Environment, would be housed in a “sea can” container unit added to Rosslyn’s existing water treatment plant.
Until then, the community is spending about $4,000 a month to provide bottled water to affected villagers.
It was only in late 2022 that a regular system inspection found that the village’s water system was “producing good quality water.”
That changed in early March when “high levels” of arsenic were found in a sample.
At the time, the Thunder Bay District Health Authority warned that the water “should not be consumed, even if boiled.”
The Chronicle Journal / Local Journalism Initiative