Walkerton water tragedy

Fierce rainstorm hits Southern Ontario and runoff, believed to contain harmful E. Town residents are exposed to the bacteria, likely through their drinking water. The lab says it does not know what follow-up measures were taken. A year-old woman dies, but investigators have not confirmed whether her death was caused by the bacteria.

Walkerton water tragedy

Last Edited December 12, Judi Doerr was on the brink of tears. Doerr and her two children, Matt, 10, and Bayley, 7, were among the 5, residents of Walkerton, Ont. Walkerton Tragedy Judi Doerr was on the brink of tears. In a strongly worded statement he prepared in connection with the chief medical officer of Ontario, McQuigge told Walkerton water tragedy news conference that the Walkerton Public Utilities Commission had sampled the water on May On May 18, he said, the PUC received a fax from the private lab that had tested the water - indicating it was contaminated.

The PUC finally acknowledged on May 23 there was a problem, McQuigge said - when he presented the results of his own independent water tests.

A PUC spokesman said the fax did arrive, but the recipient did not understand its seriousness.

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He said he notified municipal authorities and an Ontario environment ministry office in Owen Sound, assuming the ministry would follow up with the town to ensure it was fixed.

A well-groomed Victorian-era town nestled among the rolling green hills of southwestern Ontario, Walkerton does not look like the sort of place where a deadly pollutant would strike. There are no congested highways, no giant industrial smokestacks spewing grey haze.

Instead, the sparkling Saugeen River meanders through the town and surrounding countryside, a popular region for such recreational activities as fishing and canoeing. However the contamination occurred, the disaster has brought out the best - and the worst - of small-town Canada.

Friends and neighbours have gone out of their way to be kind, whether offering a steadying hand at a funeral or simply asking "How are you? Those in nearby communities such as Hanover, where the water is safe, are letting Walkerton residents live with them until they hear the all clear. But at the same time, the rumour mill - which has plenty of grist in a town where so many people know each other by first name - went into high gear.

Most damaging was speculation about who was to blame, an issue the courts may ultimately decide. Not surprisingly, the repercussions are spreading far beyond Walkerton, where schools have been closed and some restaurants have shut their doors until the crisis is over.

Water background

Canadians everywhere are asking whether a similar tragedy could unfold in their community - and in many cases the answer is yes. The town of Freelton, Ont. Ontario Environment Minister Dan Newman has asked officials from his own ministry to try to determine how the disaster occurred.

The first hint of the calamity came when Dr. Kristen Hallet, a pediatrician in Owen Sound, saw two young patients on the same day with the same uncommon symptom: Both were from Walkerton, 50 km to the south.

He launched his investigation, but not in time to stop an epidemic. Two people died while in hospital in Walkerton last week and three others died after being airlifted km south to the London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ont. They were among the 11 patients who were transferred to other facilities, while the bed Walkerton hospital admitted eight, treated almost in its emergency department and fielded countless telephone calls.

Health officials fear there could be more to come. The main culprit has been identified as Escherichia coli H7, a lethal strain of the common, usually harmless E. H7, which often originates in the intestines of healthy cattle, can result in permanent kidney damage or be fatal to humans if they ingest it in undercooked hamburg, unpasteurized milk or tainted water.

After an incubation period of two to eight days, an infected person will develop symptoms, including diarrhea, that last up to 10 days. Given the staggered times at which people started boiling water, new cases could still show up all this week. There is little doctors can do for most patients, other than making sure they get plenty of fluids, either orally or intravenously, and letting the illness run its course.

But in some people - children and the elderly are most at risk - further complications may arise when the bacteria creates a toxin that results in hemolytic-uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal kidney disease. On a cool and windy spring evening last week, the mood at the Walkerton Community Centre, usually the scene of a great deal of fun, was sombre.

Outside, teens from a local soccer team loaded cases of the water into cars as a small but steady stream of drivers pulled up. Her attention was diverted as a tractor-trailer from Zellers pulled up and the driver asked where to unload 5, 3.

The retailer, which also donated teddy bears for sick children and some of the palettes of water, was providing the bleach to residents to help purify their washing water.

Walkerton water tragedy

With only a modest brown-brick building covering the m deep artesian well dug inthe site seemed unremarkable - except for two things.

One was the overwhelming smell of chlorine as work crews continued to flush the system. He noted that Walkerton always had operated its own water system. That resulted, she says, in the ministry cutting a third of its staff and closing regional offices, including four water-testing laboratories.

Premier Harris, who visited Walkerton on Friday, denied that government cuts had played any part in the disaster. But critics say cutbacks and downloading have resulted in a weakened system of checks and balances.He noted that Walkerton always had operated its own water system.

Newman, however, may be harder pressed in the weeks to come to explain his own ministry's role in the tragedy. According to NDP Environment critic Marilyn Churley, since coming to power in the Conservatives have slashed the environment ministry's budget by 40 per cent.

Walkerton is a town on the Saugeen River in central Ontario that had no particular claim to fame or infamy, until 18 years ago. In mid-May , its drinking water system became contaminated with.

Well of Lies: The Walkerton Water Tragedy [Colin N. Perkel] on attheheels.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This is the story of a system that failed utterly, at almost every level, and with fatal effect.

People died/5(5). Walkerton's water manager, Stan Koebel, assures local health officials the water supply is safe. May Two cases of bloody diarrhea are reported to public health officials by doctors. Walkerton.

Walkerton's local public utilities commission (PUC) takes routine sample of the water supply. May 17, First symptoms of contaminated water appear, including diarrhea and flu-like illnesses.

Walkerton water tragedy

Walkerton Water Tragedy Essay. The Walkerton Water Crisis. Crisis struck Walkerton in late spring of when the small town of was struck by an outbreak of E - Walkerton Water Tragedy Essay introduction.

coli. People of the town were being sickened from their own water source.

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