Waste water a resource; don’t sell it

I am dumbfounded at the naivety of people. Maybe it’s just greed that drives decisions like that. This will come as news to those with toonies over their eyes or money stuck in their ears, but waste water is potable water. What do you suppose happened to sewage up until now?

Re: Rimbey town council’s decision to sell waste water to Encana.

I am dumbfounded at the naivety of people. Maybe it’s just greed that drives decisions like that. This will come as news to those with toonies over their eyes or money stuck in their ears, but waste water is potable water. What do you suppose happened to sewage up until now?

When you flush the toilet or run a load of wash, the waste water ends up at a treatment centre. There it is cleaned through the use of holding and settling ponds. The clear brackish water is then directed down channels where nature does another job of filtering. Those channels flow into rivers and lakes where other communities draw water.

The water is treated, mostly by chlorination, to kill bacteria and piped to households where the whole process repeats itself.

Community problems with water contamination can often be connected to overpopulation on a water source, or inadequate treatment facilities.

The issue with selling waste water for use by the energy industry is that this water is never returned to the water cycle. Once it is mixed with chemicals used in today’s drilling and fracturing operations, it is not recoverable for human consumption. The industry injects this water into formations, hoping it will not migrate to surface because of its toxicity.

The decision to sell waste water sounds great if you don’t care about your neighbours’ water source.

In this area, most rural residents depend on groundwater from wells, but in larger centres and where water is not so plentiful, water is drawn from rivers and lakes.

One community’s waste water is the next community’s drinking water. Like it or not, it’s the truth. Even a bottle of water, pop or beer ends up being recycled eventually, but not energy’s waste water.

Don’t discard something valuable (potable water) in your eagerness to get rid of some useless thing associated with it (sewage removal).

How much will it cost to buy back potable water once all that you had is promised to the energy companies?

Couldn’t help but notice how this announcement was made allowing no time for public consultation.

Ronalie Campbell

Ponoka