Well goes bad after pile driving

Pile driving for turbine foundation installations are again being associated to changes in a water well. Another day and another well impacted…

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Sediment so thick it prevents water from coming through taps of Chatham Township family’s home

By Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News

Less than two days after pile driving began to construct industrial turbines near Jessica and Paul Brooks’ home in Chatham Township, their once crystal-clear water well has become clogged with sediments.

The couple, who live on Brook Line north of Chatham within the North Kent Wind project area, say the sediment plugs up their system so badly that the water actually stops coming out of the taps at times.

Jessica Brooks said the first sign of the problem occurred last Friday night after 10 p.m. when her husband couldn’t finish taking a shower after work, because the four sediment traps they have installed on their well system were plugged up, preventing the water from flowing through.

They decided to deal with it Saturday morning and found they needed to clean the sediment traps every six hours. A few days later, the sediment traps began clogging at a much faster rate.

Brooks said they called the Ministry of Environment and Climate Control and an official came out on Tuesday.

“They took a sample of water but they did not take the sediments that we had collected over the weekend,” she said.

The Chatham Daily News contacted the MOECC and received a response by e-mail.

“The ministry believes the measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality in these circumstances because it captures the potential impact on a water well, rather than test for the presence of shale particles alone.

The ministry added samples collected on Tuesday will include analysis for turbidity.

Water Wells First spokesman Kevin Jakubec said the Brooks family has spent upwards of $4,000 on baseline testing recommended by Water Wells First.

Brooks said prior to this issue occurring their water was “beautifully crystal clear.”

She said they have documented tests done in February, March, April, May and June and “it’s all coming back – we have a beautiful well.”

She noted there’s some sodium in the water and it is a little hard, which is common for ground water, but “otherwise it’s a perfect well.”

Brooks said not having drinking water is the least of her concerns, noting they have three teenagers in a home where they can’t take showers, flush the toilet or do laundry.

Jakubec said this is the second well in the North Kent Wind project area that has experienced problems after pile driving activity has taken place nearby.

“Only a fool would think that there’s not a link between pile driving vibrations and impacts on our water wells,” he said…

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