Canada

Walkerton well a high risk for contamination when built

People in Walkerton have one more reason to be upset. The municipal well suspected to be the source of contaminated water may have been drawing from a tainted water source when it was licensed 21 years ago.

The London Free Press reported Tuesday morning the engineer hired to study the suitability and safety of the proposed well told the ministry the site was a "fairly high risk."

"We were concerned the well would be close to a cattle farm and contamination could occur," said engineer Ian Wilson.

The shallow 15-metre well was was put in soil permeable enough to allow water to pass through relatively quickly.

An E. coli outbreak in the Walkerton water supply in May killed at least seven people, and made 2,000 others sick. It was the worst outbreak of its kind in Canadian history.

Police continue to investigate how the water was contaminated. A public inquiry is set for the fall.

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