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Only two of 91 homes tested have water contaminated with perfluoroalkylated substances says DND

We notified affected residents immediately and provided them with bottled water until their homes were connected to North Bay’s municipal water supply.
lee's creek turl 2017
Lee's Creek runs alongside Lee's Road from the airport to Trout Lake. Photo by Jeff Turl.

The Department of National Defense says it has debunked fears that its use of perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) at CFB North Bay caused widespread pollution of drinking wells on Lee's Road.

Since April 2017, DND has sampled the well water of 91 homes near the base for perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS).

"In June 2017, our tests found two isolated wells containing PFAS levels above Health Canada’s drinking water screening values," says Capt Leah Pierce, Public Affairs Officer in a news release.

"We notified affected residents immediately and provided them with bottled water until their homes were connected to North Bay’s municipal water supply. The affected wells are no longer in use."

See: Homeowners on bottled water as testing continues

And: City needs to be cautious with chemical leaking from Lee's Creek says expert

Pierce says all other tests for residential wells, the base, and municipal water supplies have consistently remained below Health Canada’s recommended values.

"To ensure they remain safe, we will continue to test and monitor PFAS levels in drinking water. Ongoing water tests at nearby creeks, rivers, and lakes remain below available federal environmental quality guidelines.

"Over the coming year, we will continue to test and analyze all results from the base, drinking water, nearby creeks, rivers, and lakes to better understand the sources and impacts of PFAS in the area. We will also review all records of DND’s past firefighting activities at the base and North Bay Airport to identify and address our contribution to the issue. The results of these studies will inform our next steps and any remediation work."

All tests are carried out by an independent environmental consultant, and the results analyzed at provincially-accredited laboratories says Pierce.

"We will communicate any adverse findings to affected residents immediately and will continue to share all test results and studies with the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, the City of North Bay, and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. We are working closely with municipal, provincial and federal officials to identify all possible sources of PFAS and ensure the health and safety of residents.

"For over 65 years, 22 Wing/CFB North Bay has been an integral part of the North Bay community. As a good neighbour, we are committed to communicating openly and transparently with the community about these issues and what we are doing to solve them."

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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