WATER WELLS FIRST begun in February of 2016 at a community meeting in Chatham Township. The residents discussed what they could anticipate happening to their water wells from the proposed North Kent Wind 1 wind farm especially in light of the rumours coming from the former Dover Township.
At a Public meeting hosted by Pattern Energy and AECOM Canada on November 5th, 2015 the local residents expressed serious concerns at that meeting about the impact of the construction techniques used for the wind energy development especially the pile driving and the impact on their wells.
The impact of a falling grain silo in Turnerville demolished with a wrecking ball causing a single fall of the silo which impacted the water quality in the wells of the hamlet is still fresh in every residents memory.
Chatham Township residents are aware of their local ground conditions and it’s sensitivity to shock and vibrations from this incident. There was and is wide spread worry that driving piles into our township’s bedrock would have the same negative impact on wells.
The word from next door in Dover Township was that the well impact would not end with the pile driving. Many residents have personally seen and experienced through friends and family in Dover Township how the well water transformed from clear and good tasting water to something very different with a strong odour and fine black sediments. This transformation began with the pile driving used for the first turbine foundations but it quickly became evident in Dover that it did not end when the wind turbines became operational.
These concerns where related to the Executives at the November 5th North Kent 1 public meeting. They assured this would not be the case for Chatham Township. They asked for a letter of concern outlining this matter be sent to them and it was received by Pattern on November 18th 2015.
By February 2016, it was apparent that Pattern and AECOM had no intention to reply to the letter they had requested.
It was clear to the community that it would have to organize itself into a movement to protect these water wells.
When you realize you will have to organize, advocate, protect and if necessary protest as a rural community it can be rather daunting but here we are learning on our feet and protecting our ground water.
We are not Anti-Wind. We support the fight against Climate Change through renewable energy sources. We wish to make our world a better place just not at the expense of our water wells. We wish to use science to allow our wells and wind turbines to coexist.
Help us protect an aquifer under Chatham- Kent that is 12,000 years old and that we depend on.