Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Municipality Declares Emergency Related to Environmental Concerns – ‘Do-Not-Consume’ Advisory Continues

The Municipality of Meaford is declaring a formal Emergency following the fire on Sykes Street North on Thursday, May 25, 2023, due to ongoing environmental concerns. There are concerns about contaminants leaching into the ground surrounding the property and residue on the site of the fire flowing into the water should the weather change. Please note, residents on the municipal water system continue to be under a ‘Do-Not-Consume’ advisory.

We believe that the best approach is to declare an emergency to ensure the Municipality can take all necessary steps to protect the community, and request assistance from appropriate agencies. On behalf of Council and the Municipality, I would like to express my gratitude to the residents and businesses of Meaford for their patience and understanding as we move through this process,” said Mayor Ross Kentner on Sunday. “We are doing everything that we can to expedite the approvals that we need from provincial partners. While we know this is an inconvenience to residents and businesses, we expect to have additional information about the ‘Do-Not-Consume’ advisory within the next 48 hours. Our thoughts are with the owners of Johnny B’s, as they will be dealing with the consequences of Thursday’s fire for months to come.”

The Municipality has provided water samples to the Ministry of Environment and is currently awaiting results. Once results are received, the Grey Bruce Health Unit will determine whether the ‘Do-Not-Consume’ advisory can be lifted. Drone footage is also being provided to the Ministry of Environment to show that there is no debris or contamination in the area surrounding the water intake.

Bulk water continues to be available at the Meaford & St. Vincent Community Centre until 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 28 and will be available between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day until the “Do-Not-Consume” advisory is lifted. Bottled water supplies have run out at this time, but additional bottled water will be procured on Monday, May 29.

Our Emergency Control Group is working continuously with the health unit and provincial government regarding our next steps, and requesting guidance on how to move forward if sampling and testing continues past Monday. While we still see the testing as precautionary, it is important that residents abide by the ‘Do-Not-Consume’ advisory,” explained CAO Rob Armstrong.

The Municipality will be requesting assistance from experts in the contamination field, source water protection agencies and the provincial government. It is important that residents are aware that there may be additional issues after the end of the initial “Do-Not-Consume” advisory. The Municipality will continue to provide up to date information as necessary.

Businesses who are reliant on consumption of water should contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit for advice on safe operations during the advisory. It remains safe to use water for other purposes, such as the use of bathrooms. The Municipality will continue to provide updates through www.meaford.ca/EmergencyUpdates. Residents can also call the municipal office during regular working hours at 519-538-1060, or call 211 at other times.

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