Canadian Teachers are Waiting to Educate Over 142,000 Canadian Students About Drinking Water Quality Issues and Solutions

Canadian teachers are currently waiting for the opportunity to educate over 142,000 Canadian students about drinking water quality issues and solutions. In order to be able to do this they will need over 4,100 sponsored Operation Water Drop, Operation Water Pollution and Operation Water Biology kits to be sent to their schools. Individuals and companies can sponsor kits for schools. If you/your company sponsors kits, you/your company will be acknowledged in the letter that accompanies the kit. You can even decide in which geographic area your kits will be dispersed or to which specific school(s). Please e-mail info@safewater.org if you would like to sponsor Operation Water Drop, Operation Water Pollution and/or Operation Water Biology kits or if you would like more information.

Educational Kits for Schools

Many school divisions and districts from coast to coast are recommending the Safe Drinking Water Foundation's education programs to their teachers!  Thank you to all of the administrators who are promoting our programs!  To find out whether a sponsored kit is available for your school,  send an e-mail to info@safewater.org or phone 306-934-0389.

ClickHereToOrderKits

Learn More About Our Two New Education Programs

Operation Water Biology
Operation Community Water Footprint


Water related news. If you have any news that you would like us to include on this section of our website please e-mail info@safewater.org

Aldo Santin, Winnipeg Free Press November 20, 2014

CityandContractWorkersThawFrozenWaterPipesinMarchMountainAvenueSalterStreet
City and contract workers thaw frozen water pipes in March at Mountain Avenue at Salter Street. (KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS PHOTO FILES)

Turns out the city is making huge profit on its sale of water to property owners.

An administrative report to finance committee said that the water and waste department rescinded water bills totaling $4 million this year, for those 10,000 property owners who were instructed to leave their water taps running as a preventative measure to against water lines freezing.

But finance chairman Coun. Marty Morantz said the city didn’t lose $4 million, explaining the city’s cost in providing that additional water was only $350,000.

"I wanted to clarify the issue of the cost of running water (during the frozen pipes situation) because there was confusion around that, that it was actually $4 million, when it’s not – the actual cost of the city was (less than) $400,000," Morantz (Charleswood-Tuxedo) said.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

The Canadian Press November 20, 2014

EDMONTON - An Edmonton company has been fined for dumping industrial waste water into a storm sewer that flowed into the North Saskatchewan River.

General Recycling Industries is to pay $75,000 after it was caught pumping oily water into the sewer.
That sewer flows into Mill Creek in the middle of Edmonton, which in turns flows into the North Saskatchewan.

The waste water was tested and found to be harmful to fish, which violates the Fisheries Act.

Environment Canada couldn't immediately say what was in the waste water or how much of it entered the river.

The money is to go into the federal Environmental Damages Fund, which is used to pay for habitat restoration projects.

CKOM, The Canadian Press November 20, 2014

REGINA - Water officials say even a normal snowpack in Saskatchewan this winter could result in flooding next spring.

The Water Security Agency says most of the grainbelt is still quite wet after near record rainfalls in the province earlier this year.

That's despite normal precipitation in the last two months.

The water agency also says that larger wetlands remain near full and many creeks are continuing to flow at or near record levels for this time of year.

Normal snow conditions are being forecast for the winter.

But the water agency cautions that it's too early to say what will happen in the spring.

Runoff outlooks will start in February.

Alexandra Paul, Winnipeg Free Press November 21, 2014

ShoalLake40ChiefErwinRedsky
RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES
Shoal Lake 40 Chief Erwin Redsky is excited his First Nation and the museum are working together to highlight issues surrounding Winnipeg's aqueduct.

THE story of Shoal Lake 40 and Winnipeg's water supply is headed for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

"They are ready to acknowledge there was an injustice and a violation of human rights," said Daryl Redsky, one of three First Nation officials to attend a meeting at the museum Thursday.

The 90-minute meeting is part of a process the museum and the First Nation have been at for months, both sides said through other officials.

"We've jointly identified a number of potential action areas for exploration," museum spokeswoman Maureen Fitzhenry said by email Thursday.

She added the museum is looking at putting together a public program in the new year that will tell the story of how Winnipeg got its water supply and how the Ojibway were affected.

Shoal Lake 40 First Nation is one of two First Nations affected by the aqueduct built 100 years ago. It rendered Shoal Lake 40 an isolated island.

While the City of Winnipeg has had clean drinking water from that area for a century, Shoal Lake 40 has been on a boil-water advisory for nearly 20 years and is barred from most development to keep Winnipeg's water safe.

No proper bridge has ever been built over the canal, so the band is an island in summer and treacherous to reach in winter. It's expected the First Nation will push for the museum to recognize the stories of nine band members who died crossing the lake in winter.

The right to clean water is a primary theme at the museum.

Officials from both sides were not ready Thursday to speak about the details under discussion.

"It's not a display or an exhibit, which would take months or years to develop," Fitzhenry added. "Rather it's a facilitated cultural opportunity. And other possibilities are being explored."

The Shoal Lake 40 community is delighted with the museum's interest.

"We're discussing how the museum will put our story out," said Redsky, who is on a committee the First Nation struck for the museum talks. "It's the beginning of a relationship," he said, adding he spotted a reference to Shoal Lake in the Indigenous exhibit at the museum yesterday.

The museum addresses the right to clean water in several exhibits, including the Indigenous Perspective gallery that refers to the importance of water and the land from an aboriginal point of view. "In the Canadian Journeys gallery, an exhibit linked to a large photo in our image grid is specifically about water for First Nations and includes Free Press photos," Fitzhenry said in her email.

The two sides jelled late this summer when Shoal Lake 40 pitched a teepee at The Forks overlooking the museum site to publicize its cause. The museum supplied firewood for the camp and delivered fruit and cookies, a Shoal Lake 40 supporter said Thursday.

Weeks before, Shoal Lake 40 asked the museum to acknowledge human-rights abuses it says it has suffered due to the aqueduct.

In response, museum officials visited the First Nation in July just as community leaders were exploring ways to get their message out about past and current human-rights violations in the area.

alexandra.paul@freepress.mb.ca

-- with files by Mary Agnes Welch

Randy Shore, Vancouver Sun November 20, 2014

ProctorGulchHeadwaterTributarytoCasinoCreekinYukon
Looking upstream at Proctor Gulch, a headwater tributary to Casino Creek in the Yukon.

GraphicShowingLocationofCasinoCreekinYukon
Graphic showing the location of Casino Creek in the Yukon.

Casino Creek runs naturally high in copper near the site of a not-yet-built mine in the Yukon. But just downstream, more than 99 per cent of the copper disappears, far more than could be accounted for by dilution.

Someone or something is cleaning the water and — at the moment — doing it completely free of charge.

Palmer Environmental Consulting Group, Casino Mining Corporation and their partners at Simon Fraser University are hoping to harness this mysterious natural process to protect the environment around the planned copper, gold, molybdenum and silver mine. Contaminated water may have to be treated for 100 years after a mine is exhausted to protect the environment, a major expense for mining companies.

Casino, Palmer and Genome B.C. have put together at $100,000 study to identify and describe scientifically the best candidate for the creek’s mysterious power: bacteria, probably a whole diverse community of microbes that all support the process.

Chris Kennedy, a professor of biology and toxicology at SFU, will help hunt for naturally occurring copper-eating microbes that may be cleaning the water, microbes that could be employed to clean the mine’s effluent.

“If the data shows that some organisms are linked to roles in copper depletion, or to the ability to survive and grow in the presence of high metal concentrations, a natural remediation process may already be present for removal of metal contamination,” Kennedy said.

Water from Proctor Gulch — a headwater tributary to Casino Creek — runs through the mineral deposit in the mine site target area and contains concentrations of copper not unlike those seen in mine run-off, said aquatic ecologist May Quach, a partner with Palmer Environmental.

Over four years, Palmer collected water quality samples that showed the concentration of copper dropped steadily from a high of 0.8 milligrams per litre to just 0.006 mg/l along the 15-kilometre length of Casino Creek.

“Not all the copper is accounted for by dilution,” she said. “We are seeing (copper levels) that are orders of magnitude higher, coming down close to the Canadian water quality guideline.”

Kennedy planted perforated tubes filled with beads along the creek bed to collect “biofilm,” the naturally-occurring bacteria and single-celled organisms that live in the creek. By analyzing genetic material from the biofilm samples, he hopes to comes up with a set of copper-eating candidates or even an entire community of different bacteria that somehow work together to clean the metal from the water.

Some bacteria are able to transform metals such as copper in ways that limit its toxicity and impact on other living things, said Kennedy.

The genetic profile of the bacterial community will be compared against a database of known bacteria in order to “highlight their ability to tolerate or biotransform copper, or tolerate high metal and low pH conditions.”

If a community of copper-eaters can be identified, the next step is to determine whether their power can be harnessed by cultivating them in filter cells or holding ponds full of metal-rich effluent from the mine, work that is being pioneered here in B.C.

Imperial Metals is already engaged in a pilot project to reduce sulphate pollution using microbes on an industrial scale.

Plans for the Casino mine call for passive water treatment through wetlands, but Quach hopes the current study will yield additional tools for purification.

rshore@vancouversun.com

Blog: vancouversun.com/greenman

Twitter:@theGreenManblog