Thorlakson Nature’s Call, a composting facility located east of Airdrie, has made an application for a Development Permit (DP) to expand their operation. In reviewing the area, with respect to water drainage for the DP, I became aware of a unique set of circumstances in the offsetting feedlot operation that are a cause for major concern for groundwater contamination. I wrote a full report on groundwater contamination concerns which can be read here: ThorlaksonSiteGroundwaterConcerns.pdf
There are parallels between the Thorlakson site and the Walkerton situation, which tragically resulted in six deaths and thousands of residents suffering severe sickness from exposure to E. coli in their drinking water from a well contaminated by manure.
In the decision-making process for a DP, this sensitive setting must be considered carefully. It is important that citizens and council become knowledgeable about all aspects of environmental concern. If the DP is approved, it will allow further expansion of the composting facility. The DP is expected to be brought before Rocky View County council in early May. A repeat of Walkerton must not happen here.
Since reporting on our groundwater contamination findings, we decided to take some surface water samples from public land offsetting the feedlot operation. The samples were taken during a time of no recent rainfall and, to our knowledge, there was no lagoon overflow. Under these normal conditions, the water was found to have excessive amounts of total coliforms, E .coli and sulfate-reducing bacteria.
It is vital that citizens be informed about this environmental and public health concern.
Stop the Stench