Nestlé says it wants to partner with Centre Wellington on Middlebrook well

Nestlé representatives appeared before the Centre Wellington council Monday night to discuss ways the company and municipality could partner on the future of the Middlebrook well.

Any discussions would be protective of the community's needs, Nestlé says

Nestlé Waters Canada says it would like to partner with the Township of Centre Wellington over the Middlebrook well in Elora, Ont. (Associated Press)

Nestlé Waters Canada says it wants to partner with a small southern Ontario township on a well that the community wanted for its drinking water supply.

Nestlé representatives appeared before the Centre Wellington council Monday night to propose discussions on how the company and municipality could partner on the future of the Middlebrook well.

Nestlé purchased the Elora, Ont., property of a former water bottling company, in August. The company had a conditional offer on the property and was awaiting approval from the provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to perform an official pump test.

Nestlé waived all conditions and purchased the well after a second anonymous buyer came forward with an offer for the well with no conditions. It was later revealed the second buyer was the Township of Centre Wellington.

Nestlé's chief hydrologist Andreanne Simard told council the company wants to talk to Centre Wellington about "identifying potential revenue streams that contribute to shared and sustainable prosperity."

She said any discussions would be protective of the community's needs to safe, reliable drinking water.

Nestlé has existing permits to take up to 3.6 million litres a day from its well in Aberfoyle, where it has a bottling plant, and another 1.1 million litres a day from a well in nearby Erin, another community in Wellington county.

Ontario charges $3.71 for every million litres of water taken, on top of a permit fee of $750 for low- or medium-risk water takings, or $3,000 for the 30 per cent of permits considered a high risk to cause an adverse environmental impact.

The public has until the end of January to comment on potential new regulations looking at ways to improve Ontario's process for water-taking permits and increasing the fees water takers pay.

with files from CBC News

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