Nestlé purchases Elora property ahead of pump test approvals

Nestlé Waters Canada has purchased a property near Elora after another party expressed interest in it. The company says it is still waiting for ministry approval to do a pump test.

Company had a conditional offer on the property until now

Nestlé has purchased a property in Elora ahead of getting ministry approval for a pump test. (Getty Images)

Nestlé Waters Canada has purchased an Elora property it had been considering buying to serve as a supplementary well.

Nestlé had a conditional offer on the property of the Middlebrook Water Company, but was waiting for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to give them permission to perform an official pump test.

The company said in a release Friday that another party had made an offer to purchase the property. In the original agreement of purchase, Nestlé was given the right to go ahead with purchase, waiving all conditions, if someone else made an offer.

"We are happy to make this important investment in Wellington County, where we have been an active and proud community member for the last 15 years," Nestlé Waters Canada president and CEO Debbie Moore said in a release.

Concerns from residents

Nestlé said it will not draw water from the site until a pump test is complete and they receive all approvals from the ministry.

Local water advocates have raised concerns about Nestlé purchasing the property. Libby Carlaw from the advocacy group Save Our Water told CBC News in February many homeowners and farmers in the area rely on private wells.

"We're not a water rich area … We're very vulnerable to drought conditions," Carlaw said.

A petition on Change.org called on Nestlé to "keep out of Elora."

Pump test still needed

Still, Carlaw said she welcomes a pump test of the well.

"We want to see the results because there's actually very little information about this aquifer. If you check different government maps on the aquifer, either provincially or federally, it's kind of like there's a whole information blank in our area," she said.

"It's kind of a black hole of data about what the size of the potential aquifer is, how far it extends, even the amounts of water that may be found there."
Nestlé has purchased the Middlebrook Water Company property in Elora. (Google StreetView)

Andreanne Simard, a hydrologist and a water resource manager for Nestlé Waters Canada, said the company wants to investigate the source and understand how sustainable it is.

"We want to ensure we're not adversely impacting any of the neighbouring wells or surface water. Obviously it's a priority for us as a company. We want to investigate the well, to understand its sustainability to make sure that the water is available forever," she said in an interview with CBC in February.

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