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Not clear how private wells are becoming contaminated with bacteria, Town of Quispamsis says

Some home owners in a Quispamsis, N.B., neighbourhood are dealing with high levels of bacteria in their well water. Tim Roszell/Global News

A spokesperson for the Town of Quispamsis said it is doing all it can to help determine why E.coli and Coliform bacteria have been found in private wells in the community.

But the cause is not known.

Aaron Kennedy, communications manager for the town, said Quispamsis utility staff delivered New Brunswick public health notices to about 60 homes in the area of Pettingill Road and Wellington Court in late October, informing them bacteria had been detected in well water.

“To date, 27 wells have had water samples taken,” said Department of Health Communications spokesman Bruce McFarlane, in an email to Global News.

“Water testing has shown 9 wells with significant presence of bacteria.

Read more: Quispamsis, N.B., car wash allowed to use well water after council reversal

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Kennedy said officials from the departments of health and environment have been checking the town’s sewer system for signs of problems.

“There’s cameras going down in there to check and see if there are any breaches, breaks or leaks and to this point we haven’t discovered anything like that,” Kennedy said.

“So, it remains a mystery. It’s frustrating for everybody, but it’s still a mystery at this point in time. Everyone is anxious to find out what’s going on down there and get it resolved.”

Residents of Quispamsis, N.B., can access potable water from this outdoor tap at the Quispamsis Memorial Arena. Tim Roszell/Global News

Residents have access to potable water through an outdoor tap at the Quispamsis Memorial Arena, which is a short distance from the affected neighbourhood.

Read more: New Brunswick boat owners lament low water levels on Saint John River

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Kennedy said residents are not required to get their water tested, as the wells are owned by the homeowners themselves. He said public health officials offering free, government-funded water tests were turned away from some homes in the community.

“We were surprised by that,” Kennedy said.

Click to play video: 'Town council reverses well water decision' Town council reverses well water decision
Town council reverses well water decision – Oct 7, 2020

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