Mono council will look closer at arsenic levels in water

·1 min read

Mono council will avail of a grant to manage arsenic in municipal water.

A recent change to the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards reduced the allowable amount of arsenic in drinking water. For Mono to get in line with the new regulation, improvements to the Island Lake Drinking Water System need to be made.

But, rest assured, there’s little cause for concern among residents for the integrity of their water supply.

“I do know we are exceeding the current standards,” said Les Halucha, the town’s treasurer, told council during its Aug. 23 regular meeting.

Debate centred on an Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Green Stream grant. The program would cover $3.7-million of the total $5-million capital project. There’s a Sept. 9 deadline to sign onto the grant program.

Costs above this would come from the town’s existing waterworks reserves. Council heard that amount could be $1.3-million. Council discussed concerns with having to use reserve funds and asked staff to prepare a report on the current levels of arsenic and the steps taken to manage them.

Mayor John Creelman said residents need to have clarity on the issue. “I’m not sure I’m happy with taking that much money out of that fund,” said Councillor Ralph Manktelow.

Halucha said filtration equipment will be installed to ensure safe levels of arsenic.

Coun. Sharon Martin stressed the arsenic is naturally occurring in water.

Mayor Creelman said council doesn’t want to drain the water budget, and that’s why the coin is coming from the reserve fund.

“The $1.3-million is a lot of money,” said Halucha. “But the other option is $5-million without the grant.”

James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen