Vandalism leaves Ancaster well users dry over long weekend

Community May 25, 2018 by Richard Leitner Ancaster News

Vandalism to a gate lock closed the Ancaster well to users over the Victoria Day weekend, the first shutdown since the introduction of a swipe-card entry system in January.

Scott Peck, deputy chief administrative officer for the Hamilton Conservation Authority, said the culprit apparently repeatedly battered the lock with a blunt object during the day on May 18, rendering it inoperable.

“Whether it was a hammer or whatever it was, it was just hit to the point where it wasn’t functioning properly anymore,” he said.

Peck said staff decided to issue a work order and close the well rather than allow unfettered access to the water, which would have contravened provincial regulations and rules put in place by authority directors.

He said the repair wasn’t expensive, but meant the well couldn’t be reopened until about noon on May 22.

“It is staff time and the materials, so any time that we have to do this sort of thing it does cost time and money,” Peck said.

Amid vocal opposition from some users, authority directors approved the swipe-card setup last fall as part of measures to no longer have the well classified as a public drinking water system.

The changes relieve the well’s water from a new arsenic limit of 10 parts per billion that took effect on Jan. 1. Though no longer tested, its arsenic has typically ranged between 17 and 23 parts per billion — below the old maximum of 25.

Peck said 640 people to date have paid the one-time fee of $10 for a swipe card and signed a waiver indemnifying the authority against any legal liability for ignoring warnings to not drink the water.

A prominent sign at the well also cautions the “water is not for human consumption,” with a second sign providing details on the elevated arsenic and sodium levels.

“The system’s working well,” Peck said. “People are getting their passes and they’re getting their water from it. We monitor the site on a daily basis to make sure that the gate is closed.”

Save Our Spring, a group that continues to push for unrestricted access to the water, blasted the temporary shutdown as “a bold move that has outraged the community.”

Spokesperson Joanne Turnell said she received calls from people who visited the well and couldn’t see obvious evidence of vandalism.

“They have an obligation to the community to keep the water flowing, whether it’s behind the fence or otherwise,” she said, insisting only a warning sign is needed. “A lot of people were really concerned about it.”

 

Vandalism leaves Ancaster well users dry over long weekend

Damage temporarily shuts new swipe-card entry system

Community May 25, 2018 by Richard Leitner Ancaster News

Vandalism to a gate lock closed the Ancaster well to users over the Victoria Day weekend, the first shutdown since the introduction of a swipe-card entry system in January.

Scott Peck, deputy chief administrative officer for the Hamilton Conservation Authority, said the culprit apparently repeatedly battered the lock with a blunt object during the day on May 18, rendering it inoperable.

“Whether it was a hammer or whatever it was, it was just hit to the point where it wasn’t functioning properly anymore,” he said.

Peck said staff decided to issue a work order and close the well rather than allow unfettered access to the water, which would have contravened provincial regulations and rules put in place by authority directors.

Related Content

He said the repair wasn’t expensive, but meant the well couldn’t be reopened until about noon on May 22.

“It is staff time and the materials, so any time that we have to do this sort of thing it does cost time and money,” Peck said.

Amid vocal opposition from some users, authority directors approved the swipe-card setup last fall as part of measures to no longer have the well classified as a public drinking water system.

The changes relieve the well’s water from a new arsenic limit of 10 parts per billion that took effect on Jan. 1. Though no longer tested, its arsenic has typically ranged between 17 and 23 parts per billion — below the old maximum of 25.

Peck said 640 people to date have paid the one-time fee of $10 for a swipe card and signed a waiver indemnifying the authority against any legal liability for ignoring warnings to not drink the water.

A prominent sign at the well also cautions the “water is not for human consumption,” with a second sign providing details on the elevated arsenic and sodium levels.

“The system’s working well,” Peck said. “People are getting their passes and they’re getting their water from it. We monitor the site on a daily basis to make sure that the gate is closed.”

Save Our Spring, a group that continues to push for unrestricted access to the water, blasted the temporary shutdown as “a bold move that has outraged the community.”

Spokesperson Joanne Turnell said she received calls from people who visited the well and couldn’t see obvious evidence of vandalism.

“They have an obligation to the community to keep the water flowing, whether it’s behind the fence or otherwise,” she said, insisting only a warning sign is needed. “A lot of people were really concerned about it.”

 

Vandalism leaves Ancaster well users dry over long weekend

Damage temporarily shuts new swipe-card entry system

Community May 25, 2018 by Richard Leitner Ancaster News

Vandalism to a gate lock closed the Ancaster well to users over the Victoria Day weekend, the first shutdown since the introduction of a swipe-card entry system in January.

Scott Peck, deputy chief administrative officer for the Hamilton Conservation Authority, said the culprit apparently repeatedly battered the lock with a blunt object during the day on May 18, rendering it inoperable.

“Whether it was a hammer or whatever it was, it was just hit to the point where it wasn’t functioning properly anymore,” he said.

Peck said staff decided to issue a work order and close the well rather than allow unfettered access to the water, which would have contravened provincial regulations and rules put in place by authority directors.

Related Content

He said the repair wasn’t expensive, but meant the well couldn’t be reopened until about noon on May 22.

“It is staff time and the materials, so any time that we have to do this sort of thing it does cost time and money,” Peck said.

Amid vocal opposition from some users, authority directors approved the swipe-card setup last fall as part of measures to no longer have the well classified as a public drinking water system.

The changes relieve the well’s water from a new arsenic limit of 10 parts per billion that took effect on Jan. 1. Though no longer tested, its arsenic has typically ranged between 17 and 23 parts per billion — below the old maximum of 25.

Peck said 640 people to date have paid the one-time fee of $10 for a swipe card and signed a waiver indemnifying the authority against any legal liability for ignoring warnings to not drink the water.

A prominent sign at the well also cautions the “water is not for human consumption,” with a second sign providing details on the elevated arsenic and sodium levels.

“The system’s working well,” Peck said. “People are getting their passes and they’re getting their water from it. We monitor the site on a daily basis to make sure that the gate is closed.”

Save Our Spring, a group that continues to push for unrestricted access to the water, blasted the temporary shutdown as “a bold move that has outraged the community.”

Spokesperson Joanne Turnell said she received calls from people who visited the well and couldn’t see obvious evidence of vandalism.

“They have an obligation to the community to keep the water flowing, whether it’s behind the fence or otherwise,” she said, insisting only a warning sign is needed. “A lot of people were really concerned about it.”