A local flea market near Smiths Falls , Ontario has burned to the ground. A water contamination crisis has erupted from the loss, and the province is still not sure about the size of the affected area. The Rideau Valley Marketplace burned down Nov.6th, even after the best efforts of the local fire department. Shortly thereafter the local residents could see foam in their water, and it had a strong chemical smell. Health authorities immediately put out a no drinking warning…followed 10 days later with a no contact with the water, even flushing the water has been prohibited as it is possible to inhale the water droplets stirred up by the flush.
Testing has shown that the use of a fire retardant foam and 80 truckloads of water led to a toxic chemical brew seeping into the local water supply. Last Friday a meeting was held for the residents to meet with officials from the Ministry of the Environment, and local medical officials and politicians. Further testing has shown the contaminated water is moving around in the ground and bedrock. Due to the local conditions the scope of the contaminated area still has to be determined. A clean up firm has been contracted to drill holes and pump out and treat the contaminated water. Monthly testing will allow for monitoring the situation , as well as give time for a long term plan to be devised.
Meanwhile the local people affected are drinking bottled water , and heated outdoor tanks are supplying water to shower, cook, and clean with. Concerns about the plumbing feeding those affected homes has led to the pipes to be pressure cleaned..but other issues have arisen. For instance at the meeting there was no one to address insurance concerns with regards to ruined dishwashers ,washing machines , and bathtubs that were affected adversely by the toxic water.
Perhaps it is time for some one to come up with a more earth friendly fire retardant…or perhaps just use water.