Moving to a new Town, a Small Town (even with medium range projected growth a small town would still be a true description) for our children & a way of living our lives within a Community was to be exciting & lend us the opportunities we didn’t have in any place we’d lived before (or not since either my husband & I were growing up) including in the School we chose to have our two younger children attend.
Slowly learning about issues with water in our new-town-to-be shortly before our move, while we were in the crazy & stressful throes of selling our existing home was a distraction but we didn’t ignore the chatter.
ALARMED is the term I will repeat when sharing our story of learning more about the water within weeks of our move here. Our home routinely smells of chlorine, on particularly bad days I can feel it &/or sense it in the air within our home and it’s disturbing. We had already made an informed choice to keep our young daughter away from public pools as she has ongoing lung issues which are extreme & easily triggered by this type of chemical exposure. Yes we use it to keep our water supply safe, & pools clean but it’s still a chemical & here in Tottenham the routine at the really crappy source of our municipal water creates the need to Over-Chlorinate. The levels have been reported to and tracked by the Ministry of The Environment & Climate Change (#MOECC) to be at or in a range of 10 x’s the average for same/similar water supply here in the Province of Ontario!?! I was confused and concerned & reaching out only to be pushed back, it became personal but it’s so much more than that in the way we established (my wonderful, amazing & passionate friend & I) this advocacy for the Town’s Water.
Our Town of New Tecumseth is three Towns amalgamated (or 4 if you read the history one which was blended into the existing 3) and yet our water is the only supply & quality which remains inadequate and chronically relegated to being ignored or to pedaling Master Plans into Black Holes of inaction!?!
Red Flags were sent up when others who would profess to be working towards a solution or positive change told us there was a solution in the offing &/or told us there was no need to share the story or the history of 16 + years of the Town & other levels of officials in charge of Water, not taking steps to ensure existing residents, business owners and children attending our schools & using Tottenham Municipal Water were being informed. There were adequate moves being made to FIX it or allow people to make informed decisions about their own homes, where their children attended schools & if they even wanted to move here, or stay here given the Dirty & yes, UNSAFE Water!!
Being a part of a community where the local Town Government doesn’t feel the need to inform or reach out because they don’t have to? Immediately had me reaching out, almost to echoes of silence, that is until I met a Neighbour who became an immediate friend (see pic/poster) & had even broader visions of reaching out & speaking out to realize change, rather than sitting around on Social Media (which we actually do lots of but the sitting around part is relative to just the two of us really teaming up & daily lives & how we choose to be out there – comfort zones don’t count) hosting a table as was blogged about in the premiere blog post here this past weekend of March 11th 2017, taking requests for media interviews and coverage which has continued from June which was just shortly after uniting in this Tottenham-water.ca initiative!!
Layers of connecting & collaborating out in Simcoe County and well beyond became the nature of how to get the message out to other levels of government & engage more media coverage in order to be heard.
It seemed soul searching & outreach in our Town was inadequate for many existing residents who were aware were & are still confident the Town & It’s Council & Staff were working for us in this issue of Fixing & Upgrading the systems & quality & supply issues >>>#dirtywatershame yet that wasn’t & isn’t the case. The newcomers, as they allowed mass development (the Town is set to double to about 10,000 residents or so when this round of new build homes has been completed) weren’t informed nor advised when buying their homes & as noted above, existing residents were living with the water & many not really knowing nor understanding what was wrong or unsafe about the water they use daily in their homes & anywhere in this Town!!
& so how does it seem right if that’s not a priority that the powers that be (Town, Provincial & Federal Gov.’t) would then allow/approve & Steam Roll into so many more people living in this Town?
(filtration is not the answer until it is offered by gov.’t at the source of the issues with groundwater nor is it adequate in one home & not the next due to Not Knowing, financial need nor not holding the Town & it’s so-called change makers accountable & to stand up & have Equity for every single person in this town?!?)
One of our goals was always to have residents reach out to allow us to understand how to tell this story & create a synergy for Tottenham. It is indeed a place I choose to live (in spite of the Water Debacle & Issues) as my friend often details, this town has so much to offer right here & now
~~ JUST IMAGINE how truly fixing this issue now rather than the projected 10 +++ Years of
#pipeline dreams will see Tottenham shine as it surely should!
Reach out to us, please share your experiences and we’ll post & continue our work with personal stories beyond our own. Share your stories and we can use them without your names if that’s a preferred way to tell your story?
#waterislife - *special mention to the group on facebook who really allowed us to continue in this journey ~thank~you!
These are the types of grass roots community outreach & media interactions we have needed to get the information out there – the accurate information, #thetruth and hold all levels of government accountable to see #actionnow