How safe is your drinking water?
Canadians tend to take the answer to this question for granted. But for residents of Turner Valley and Black Diamond, Alberta, the answer isn’t so clear.
Concerns emerged when the Town of Turner Valley constructed a water works system and infiltration gallery within an oil field close to the Sheep River. This system and gallery provide drinking water to residents of Turner Valley and Black Diamond, raising questions about possible contamination.
Concerns of contamination
In addition to being located in an oilfield, the water works system and infiltration gallery are also located near the former landfill site of a historic gas plant. Groundwater accessed for drinking water is downstream from a large number of abandoned oil wells and more than a dozen decommissioned septic fields.
Studies find the area at high risk of contamination.
These previous facilities and sites could be releasing pollutants towards the water supply system, and into the Sheep River, thereby possibly contaminating the community’s drinking water.
One would expect that in the face of this evidence, the Town of Turner Valley and Province of Alberta would be rigorously studying for contaminants. But that hasn’t occurred.
Instead, the testing of the raw water and the water distribution system falls far short of the Province’s own “standards.”
Join us in the fight for proper testing and monitoring of our drinking water.
From April 28 to May 1, 2015, a hearing will be held by the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board. Residents will be arguing for more rigorous testing and monitoring of their drinking water.
Funds are needed to cover the costs of hiring independent experts to prepare a report on pollutants in the area and the possible contamination of the Sheep River. The report will be prepared by Dr. Udo Weyer of WDA Consultants Inc., a senior hydrogeologist with decades of experience in the area of water contamination.
We need your help
Help residents of Turner Valley and Black Diamond gain access to clean drinking water.
Any amount helps. Together with your support, we can present a detailed and comprehensive expert report with findings that will be difficult for the Town and Province to ignore.
Use of Funds
All funds raised will be directed to WDA Consultants Inc. for the preparation of the reports to and presentation at the Hearing of the Environmental Appeals Board.
Any excess funds raised will be used to fund further hydrogeological studies in the Turner Valley area, including conducting further water testing and monitoring.
WDA Consultants has advised and consulted in Canada and around the world on projects related to hydrogeology, contaminant hydrogeology, mathematical modelling, groundwater and fluid dynamics, and geological CO2 storage.
Cheques can can be directly mailed to WDA Consultants Inc. at:
Media and Other Coverage
Learn more about the water issues in Turner Valley:
Turner Valley residents launch crowd-funding campaign to determine if town’s drinking water is safe, Calgary Herald, March 15, 2015
Date extended for water-related hearing, Okotoks Western Wheel, February 18, 2015
Law professor takes on water appeal, Okotoks Western Wheel, February 4, 2015
Dates set for appeal hearings over water plans, Okotoks Western Wheel, January 14, 2015
Citizen launches fourth appeal, Okotoks Western Wheel, November 26, 2014
Advocate for safe drinking water: Roxanne Walsh, Water Matters, April 4, 2009
Sludge Raises Alarm, Calgary Herald, July 30, 2005
Water Worries Plague Oil Town, Calgary Herald
Donate now! Your contribution will help us ensure that residents of Turner Valley and Black Diamond have access to clean drinking water.
Share your contact information with us when you donate and you’ll receive the added benefits as outlined below:
$5 — Be added to our mailing list and receive periodic updates on the progress of the case and outcome of the hearing.*
$20 — Receive a guide that outlines how to launch an appeal with the Alberta Environmental Appeal Board and shares the experiences of the residents who have done so in this matter.
$50 — Receive a PDF copy of the expert report prepared by WDA Consultants Inc. for the Environmental Appeals Board.
$100 — Enjoy a guided history walk around part of the area impacted by the concerns. Offered by Julie Walker, Owner/Program Director and Guide, Full Circle Adventures and Turner Valley resident (note: does not include accommodation, transportation and other expenses incidental to the guided hike).
$150 — Receive an invitation to an informal meeting to view a presentation of the technical results by Dr. Udo Weyer of WDA Consultants Inc.
$200 — Receive a copy of Roxanne Walsh’s personal submission to the Environmental Appeals Board. Roxanne is a Turner Valley resident and one of the Appellants.
$250 — Join Dr. Udo Weyer in an on-site inspection of the site area as far as publicly accessible, and learn about the hydrogeology of the water supply system and raw water reservoir. You’ll also hear a historical overview of the role of Turner Valley in the development of the understanding of groundwater flow and hydrogeology.
*note that all donors at the $5 and up level will also be added to the mailing list and receive updates
For more information, or if you are able to assist with time or talents, please visit Turner Valley Water or contact TurnerValleyWater@gmail.com.