I moved to Tottenham over 16 years ago from the city. When I moved here, I noticed the water did not taste very good and was often brownish in colour. It was just accepted by my neighbours as Tottenham's water. We all figured that if there was something harmful in the water that we would be informed about it by the town.
I raised my children (and my pets) on and in this water. For taste, we generally used jugs from Foodland. But we took baths and showers filled wading pools never thinking anything of it except that the discolouration was noticeable. Just like everyone else, I was busy with our lives and raising my children. I always believed that there were people paid to look after municipal issues and if there was a problem, we would be notified by the town directly.
Over the years there was talk about a pipeline that would bring us nice clean water. The pipeline was built to Alliston and then to Beeton and then... it stopped. We never got the pipeline. There was talk that it would come to Tottenham and we assumed the town was working on it. At one point a few years ago, there was a petition circulating that asked for clean water and we once again assumed someone was working on it.
Then in January of 2016, a neighbour told me about a Facebook page that talked about these things called trihalomethanes in our town water and that they were known carcinogens. I was shocked. I had no idea what trihalomethanes were, but I knew what carcinogens were. I immediately found the Facebook page and then began to investigate on my own. Over the next few months I continued to research our water problem and my anger continued to rise. I eventually found a like minded resident who was equally appalled with our water situation and wanted it to change.
With the help of my new friend and my neighbour, we had an information and awareness table at the Tottenham Community Week. It was a very busy table. We shared information with other residents and with out of towners. All though it was not the most organized and professional table, we had success in informing people of our town water issue. And so we embarked on this uphill battle to inform all the residents in Tottenham about the real issues and obstacles concerning our basic human right - clean water.