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Unsafe groundwater forces use of bottled water at PEI provincial jail

FILE PHOTO. JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN, AFP/Getty Images

CHARLOTTETOWN – Unsafe arsenic and uranium levels in the groundwater supply has seen inmates and staff at the Prince Edward Island’s provincial jail use bottled water for the last several weeks.

George Somers, manager of the province’s drinking and wastewater division, says arsenic and uranium are both naturally occurring in groundwater, which is the Island’s only source of drinking water.

The vast majority of groundwater tested by the province contains only trace amounts safely below national guidelines based on lifetime consumption.

But the groundwater source at the provincial correctional facility, better known as Sleepy Hollow, was found to exceed those guidelines.

Provincial officials say options include enhanced water treatment, construction of new wells and connection to the Charlottetown’s water supply.

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