No argument between water supply versus building materials

To the Editor,

Does it make sense, especially in these times of severe water shortage, to excavate and operate a sand and gravel pit dangerously close to sensitive and important ground waters?

Anyone familiar with Ridge Road, that 7 km long stretch connecting Picton to West Lake, will be aware of two things about “the Ridge”: the many aggregate pits that are located on that winding path, as well as the road’s very close proximity to Waring Creek, the county’s environmentally sensitive and protected body of water.

Twenty years ago, the Waring Creek Improvement Association won a victory in limiting the scope of operations of one of those pits due to the potential dangers it posed to the ecologically important Waring Creek. If you live rurally, and are dependant on well water, you can be thankful that this group was looking out for your interest in helping protecting well water from the potential dangers an unchecked pit operation could have on the ground water.

On September 10, county council will be voting on whether to allow yet another new pit to be excavated and operated on Ridge Road, this new one located at the Green Ridge Farms asparagus farm.

The ground waters on this property, an extension of Waring Creek, are threatened by the excavation and operation of this proposed pit. The owners have not made a convincing case that these waters will not be disrupted and put at risk, insisting excavation will not get any closer than four and a half feet to the water table.

It’s hard to believe this could be undertaken safely as well as monitored effectively. We all recognize the need for sand and gravel for building and maintaining infrastructure.

But what do we, county residents and county councillors, value more in life – safe and plentiful drinking water or access to building materials?

Dan Kelly