Canada

Taps still turned off in many Walkerton homes

More than three months ago a deadly strain of E. coli contaminated Walkerton's water supply, killing at least six people and making hundreds more very ill.

On Tuesday, an inquiry into the tragedy began hearing from people who want to participate.

Everyone in this central Ontario community says they want some basic answers. "What happened? Why did people get sick? Why did they endure what they are enduring to this day?" asks Paul Muldoon the lawyer for the Concerned Citizens of Walkerton.

When the people of Walkerton learned their water supply had been contaminated back in May, many figured everything would be all right by the middle of the summer. Now, more than three months later, they're still waiting.

Recently, officials decided to get rid of the old pipes and replace them with new ones in much of the town.

And while they tear the streets up, the people whose lives here have been turned upside down are wondering how much longer it will continue.

For David Wilson - like many others in the town - it's a daily chore carting a case of bottled water around. But without it he and his wife Andrine wouldn't have the water they need for cooking.

The Wilsons both became sick from E. coli. Both have yet to fully recover. Someday the water will come back on, but their trust in the system won't.

"I'm afraid it's not going to to be, 'Oh that's good, we'll drink from the tap right away,'" said Andrine Wilson.

"Even if the truth comes out what good will it do us now? We've gone through it as many others have in Walkerton," said David Wilson.

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