Fish kills concern Charlottetown councillor

Dave Stewart
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Charlottetown Coun. Rob Lantz

Charlottetown Coun. Rob Lantz says he’s concerned about the possible use of pesticides close to the city’s new source of water.

Lantz brought his concerns up at this week’s regular public monthly meeting of council following news about the fish kill in the North River.

Charlottetown is currently developing a wellfield nearby in Miltonvale that should be completed and in use by 2016.

“The first thing that comes to mind is that our new wellfield for municipal water, drinking water in the city of Charlottetown is in that area,’’ Lantz told the media following the council meeting. “It’s one tributary of the North River.’’

Lantz said he’s concerned about whether there is an intensive use of pesticides in the area.

“Is there potential for those pesticides to find their way into the municipal water supply? I don’t know the answer to those questions.’’

Coun. Eddie Rice, chairman of the Water and Sewer Utility committee, said it’s an issue he will look into. Rice said he would be getting information from the province about protecting the new wellfield and pesticide use.

An investigation is underway to find what killed more than 1,000 fish in the North River last week. Species killed included rainbow trout, brook trout, stickleback and Atlantic salmon.

A provincial biologist told The Guardian on the weekend that samples from the scene showed oxygen levels and water quality were fine.

Wayne MacKinnon, a spokesman with the Department of Environment, said the department monitors the water in the city and around the province.

“We have test wells across the province and none of them have ever shown any serious level of pesticides,’’ MacKinnon said, adding that the city also does test its own wells. “We do test the ones in Charlottetown because they are part of our monitoring program.’’

Still, Lantz thinks it’s still a good idea to know what’s going on in the area.

“Maybe we’re talking about a completely different branch of the river but, still, it’s in the same general area and it concerns me because I know that’s where our water will be coming from. It’s something our water and sewer committee and the province are going to be discussing. It should be a question everyone has.’’

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: Department of Environment

Geographic location: Charlottetown, North River, Miltonvale

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  • UPWESTER
    August 15, 2014 - 10:43

    I'm glad this latest fish kill was near enough to Charlottetown to get the attention of politicians because they sure don't pay any mind when they keep happening upwest. Maybe Rob will speak to his brother who seems to give repeat offenders a slap on the wrist, part of the cost of doing business. A suitable penalty for offending fields is that the farmer loses any revenue from the sale of these potatoes.