Acidic Tap Wa­ter Eat­ing Away Pipes And Putting Cop­per Into Sys­tem

Stanstead Journal - - LENNOXVILLE NEWS -

By: Peter Scowe

School showers are equipped with au­to­matic shut­off valves which wear out so quickly that the man­u­fac­turer is re­fus­ing to guar­an­tee them any­more un­less Skel­ton sends them a sample of the wa­ter.

Hot wa­ter tanks are be­ing eaten through in five years, ac­cord­ing to Reynolds.

“I’ve had to change ev­ery tank on cam­pus at least once,” he said, adding he’s been work­ing at the school for 11 years. “I mean, that’s ridicu­lous.”

The acid wa­ter cre­ates an­other prob­lem. All the metal it cor­rodes off of pipes ends up in the wa­ter sys­tem.

The re­sult is blue-green stains in sinks and toi­lets fed by cop­per pipes, and brown stains in fix­tures that have iron pipes. “I shud­der to think of how many sinks and faucets we have to re­place,” Skel­ton said. The school has in­serted fil­ters at a num­ber of points in its wa­ter from com­ing out of the taps. Reynolds said he has to re­place the fil­ters once ev­ery two weeks. As well, wa­ter pumps of­ten break down be­cause they be­come filled up with solids. The Que­bec En­vi­ron­ment Depart­ment first dis­cov­ered the wa­ter was too acidic when Trem­blay in­ves­ti­gated to see why the sludge at the sewage treat­ment plant in Rock Is­land con­tained such an unusu­ally high amount of cop­per.

The ac­cept­able level for cop­per in sludge is 1000 mg per kilo­gram of dry mat­ter. Rock Is­land’s sludge had 1500 mg, mak­ing it un­ac­cept­able for agri­cul­tural use as a fer­til­izer.

Trem­blay dis­cov­ered that the amount of cop­per in drink­ing wa­ter in­creased the fur­ther it got from the source, lead­ing him to con­clude the metal was com­ing from pipes.

Both Que­bec and Ver­mont list cop­per as a se­condary con­tam­i­nant – one that isn’t a health warns that cop­per can be an ir­ri­tant to hu­man di­ges­tive sys­tems and can even cause liver dam­age in high doses.

Trem­blay found the level of cop­per in Stanstead wa­ter to be nearly two-and-a-half times higher than the ac­cept­able level.

“How­ever,” a Ver­mont Health Depart­ment doc­u­ment reads, “wa­ter con­tain­ing high lev­els of cop­per is usu­ally ex­pelled by the body within a few min­utes af­ter con­sump­tion,”

An of­fi­cial with the depart­ment in Burling­ton said wa­ter with high con­cen­tra­tions of cop­per would be vom­ited out.

Trem­blay said he felt the cop­per in the wa­ter isn’t a threat to hu­man health but added “it should be watched.”

The acidic wa­ter also puts iron into the sys­tems, which is ac­tu­ally good for hu­mans.

But Blais said if any­one still has pipes with lead in them, the acid wa­ter would speed up cor­ro­sion and put the lead – a known poi­son – di­rectly into drink­ing wa­ter.

That way the cop­per and other met­als will be flushed out of the sys­tem.

Blais said In­ter­na­tional Wa­ter Com­pany will prob­a­bly de­cide to put sodium bi­car­bon­ate – bak­ing soda – into the sys­tem when it builds a rem­edy next spring.

The bak­ing soda will boost the wa­ter’s al­ka­lin­ity and raise the pH level. That way the wa­ter will be less cor­ro­sive. In the mean­time, Stanstead Col­lege is wait­ing im­pa­tiently for some­thing to be done. “We keep patch­ing here but we’re not solv­ing the prob­lem,” Reynolds said, hold­ing a cop­per pipe that had an open sore on it caused by the acid wa­ter. “There’s lit­er­ally miles of pipe in this place,” said Skel­ton. You start to get para­noid. “But it goes fur­ther than that,” he added. “You’ve got the degra­da­tion of an en­tire mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter sys­tem.” (This prayer should be said dur­ing three con­sec­u­tive days. The grace re­quested will be ob­tained fol­low­ing the three days of prayer. Have the prayer pub­lished with­out di­vulging the re­quest and sim­ply add your ini­tials)

1924-2015 – It is with pro­found sad­ness that we an­nounce the pass­ing of Emily Da­mon, née Worm­s­ley, on Jan­uary 19th, 2015, at Le Manoir de Stanstead, Stanstead, Que­bec. Emily leaves to mourn her chil­dren Gwen (Garry), Linda (Paul), Mona (Gor­don), Barb (Gordy), Steve (San­dra), Rick, Gary (Pa­tri­cia), her daugh­ter in law Fleurette, she also leaves to mourn her 28 grand­chil­dren, 56 great grand-chil­dren and 2 great grand-chil­dren, as well as many other nieces, neph­ews and friends and neigh­bors. Emily is pre-de­ceased by her sis­ters and broth­ers Phyl­lis, Sylvia, Fred, Ge­orge, Joyce and Ce­cil as well as her son Ge­of­frey and daugh­ter Mag­gie. A fu­neral ser­vice will be held at the Angli­can Church in Stanstead on Thurs­day Jan­uary 22nd, 2015 at 2 p.m. The fam­ily will be re­ceiv­ing con­do­lences at the church at 1 p.m. the day of the ser­vices. A light lunch will be served at the Manoir de Stanstead af­ter the fu­neral ser­vice. In lieu of flow­ers, a do­na­tion may be made to the Angli­can Church in Stanstead. The fu­neral ar­range­ments are pro­vided by

Rési­dence Funéraire Stanstead.

Gilles Blais

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.