There is no national surveillance system for collection of water born out break data for Canadians. Investigations of water-borne disease outbreaks are challenging because gastrointestinal illness are frequently underreported and come from multiple routes (person/ person, food-born, water-borne). Canadian trends documented in Small Systems Drinking Water Project by Moﬀatt and Struck (2011) do suggest the water systems serving 5,000 people or less maybe more vulnerable.
Factors that contribute to Water-borne illness:
Animals in the watershed are identiﬁed as the most common source of contamination in surface water.
Human septic contamination is most common with ground water outbreaks.
Spring run oﬀ can exacerbate underlying vulnerabilities in inadequate treatment or inadequate water protection.
Lack of funding, infrastructure, and/or training for Water Operations Workers
Malfunctioning water distribution systems (broken pipes, or cross contamination).
Human error include but not limited to - damage to equipment, mistakes made calculation of management of water treatment systems, poor material choices leading to contamination of ground water.
Saskatchewan has Private Water Systems, Semi-Public Systems and Public (Municipal) Systems. 95% of Canadians that have private water systems use groundwater sources. Our well clients would ﬁt into this category. Private well owners build their own water infrastructure. Often bacterial outbreaks are the cause of illness and it is important to test all water sources and monitor water quality. Pathogens in water are the most signiﬁcant water borne illness because they can be resistant to chemical disinfection and treatment. Pathogens and bacteria are more common in surface water sources. For example: If a large diameter well is ﬂooded by spring run oﬀ, protozoa pathogens (like cryptosporidium and giardia) can enter the well and cause diarrhea, dehydration, stomach cramps, fever, nausea and vomiting and will often appear a week after infection. Dugouts and surface water (sloughs) become contaminated with cryptosporidium from infected fowl and livestock. Sewage overﬂows can also contaminate surface sources of water, so recreational sports involving lakes and rivers near sewage management systems. Dugouts, and large board wells can harbor bacteria even after the area has been deemed safe at the original outbreak site.
Outbreaks like in Walkerton, Ontario in 2000 (E. coli) caused 2,200 cases of Gastrointestinal illness, 65 serious hospitalizations, and 7 deaths.
What we can do:
Check/test your water supply regularity. In a period of draught, it is important to be vigilant.
Hire Wolverine Drilling, we drill with chlorinated water, and grout with a tremie line, (the top pour method is not eﬀective enough to guarantee grout placement).
Wells need a suﬃcient annulus, so ﬁlter cake does not bridge. Grout can eﬀectively break surface and groundwater transfer. 2 inch or greater annulus is recommenced by well screen manufactures.
Proper grout methods prevent contamination from surface into aquifer below.
When drilling in conﬁned areas like lake lots, each lot generally has a septic tank, all precautions need to be taken to pass surface water and use reliable water targets that are deeper (possibly bypassing contaminated water sources that are often in 10-17 ft from the surface.
Wolverine Drilling Inc. is dedicated to working with you through out the drilling process to ensure clear and concise measures are taken for both long term well sustainability and over all investment costs. We are experienced water well contractors and have vast amounts of experience drilling wells across all of Saskatchewan.
Please contact us directly at 306-682-4647 to discuss your options and the best process to follow for the decommissioning of your water well.