Ottawa will fund a study looking into the cause of the mysterious Windsor hum, a rumbling that’s been bothering some Windsor-Essex residents since early 2011.
Bob Dechert, parliamentary secretary to the Foreign Affairs minister, and Conservative Essex MP Jeff Watson made the announcement Monday in Windsor’s west end, where the majority of complaints have come from.
The research project will also include help from the University of Windsor.
"Our government takes this issue seriously and is following up on our commitment to find a solution that works for the people of Windsor. Promise made, promise kept," said Dechert.
The study, to be conducted jointly by scientists at the University of Windsor and Western University in London, Ont., will be a key step in developing a possible solution.
"Our government will continue to work with the people of Windsor and others to hopefully pinpoint the source of the Windsor hum," said Dechert. "We want to protect citizens’ quality of life. To get a solution, we first need to find the source. This study is a step in the right direction."
The goal is to find the source of the noise people have described as an idling truck or locomotive engine.
"The Windsor hum is having a negative effect on the day-to-day lives of Windsor residents," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a media release. "We are prepared to collaborate with stakeholders and other levels of government to identify the source of the problem so that potential mitigation measures can be designed and implemented."
The government will invest $60,000 in two research projects.
University of Windsor assistant professor Colin Novak is one of two researchers who will attempt to find the source of the sound, using technologically advanced equipment.
"We've already found some preliminary areas where we want to set this equipment up," he said. "We're going to get at it. We should have our data within the next three to four months."
The head of a Facebook page representing residents affected by the hum said he is happy with the move.
"This is excellent news for us," said Gary Grosse. "Thirteen-hundred people are going to be extremely happy. It's been a very long two years and some people have lost hope."
Last year, a federal study suggested the hum may originate from the U.S. side of the Detroit River, in the general area of Zug Island, an area of concentrated steel production and manufacturing in River Rouge, Mich.
The mayor of River Rouge said in 2011 that his city doesn't have the funds to investigate further.
The map below shows the location of Zug Island, southwest of Detroit.