STELLARTON – The Town of Stellarton will have a water utility commission.
Despite some opposition from Mayor Joe Gennoe, who felt the board would be duplicating work being done by a research group led by Dalhousie University, the motion to have an advisory group passed.
The new commission will consist of two members of council and two members of the public. Coun. Ken Francis and Coun. Judith MacLellan were chosen to represent council. Advertisements will be placed for the two public seats. Once chosen the four members will meet with town engineer Tony Addis to go over the water testing results and to talk about matters affecting the water quality.
The idea of creating a commission to monitor the water was presented to council by former mayor Ron Marks in December after it came out in a committee of the whole meeting that the town had been exceeding the maximum acceptable concentration for THMs and HAAs, which are carcinogenic byproducts that result during the water purification process.
Although the Department of Environment and Department of Health were aware of the levels, council didn’t know about it.
This week the study being led by Dalhousie University will begin in the town to help find a solution to the problem. The study is expected to last two years.
Gennoe said he expects there will be results much sooner than that, however. He also reiterated that experts have told them the water is safe to drink.
“We’re not far out. We’re safe,” he said. “If we weren’t safe, they’d be shutting us down tomorrow.”
Results from the last year show that the town has exceeded the limit on an average of 34 per cent. The worst result showed almost twice the permitted level.