Public Health Concerns with Water at Lake Niapenco & around the Airport

Dear Residents of the Lake Niapenco and John C. Munro Airport area:

Subject: Public Health concerns regarding Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in Lake Niapenco and Propylene glycol in the headwater creeks of the Upper Welland River (Airport Area)

Hamilton Public Health Services is monitoring concerns regarding the finding of Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in turtles, fish and sediment in Lake Niapenco; and the presence of propylene glycol in the headwater creeks of the Upper Welland River (Hamilton Airport Area)

Hamilton Public Health Services believes that levels of PFOS found to date do not represent a further risk to public health beyond the fish consumption restrictions*. The finding of propylene glycol in the headwater creeks of the Upper Welland River is not a risk to human health.

Swimming in Lake Niapenco is not a public health risk associated with exposure to PFOS.

Hamilton Public Health Services has consulted with a Toxicologist regarding this matter and at this time based on the information that is known, there is no reason to issue a public health advisory or warning.

Efforts to find and mitigate the source of PFOS are being conducted by the Ministry of Environment. Hamilton Public Health Services and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority are working with the Ministry of Environment in this regard and will be sampling surface water, groundwater, and sediment of Upper Welland River tributaries.

The soil in the Glanbrook area is generally clay based which diminishes the potential movement of PFOS or propylene glycol into the aquifer that is used for well water. Exposure to PFOS or propylene glycol through well water is believed to be very unlikely.

Council has directed Hamilton Public Health Services to work with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority to conduct a water sampling and testing program of some private wells and irrigation ponds in the area, to obtain more information about the scope of PFOS and propylene glycol contamination in the area of Lake Niapenco, and to reassure residents. Area residents will be updated should any chemicals of concern be found in water wells.

Hamilton Public Health Services recommends that area residents who use private well water do the following:

• Test your well water for the presence of bacteria. The presence of bacteria in drinking water is a much higher risk to heath than the levels of PFOS that have been found in the fish and sediment of Lake Niapenco.
• Inspect your well and ensure that it is constructed properly and protected from surface water contamination.

Free well water sample bottle kits, for bacteria testing, and information about water wells can be obtained at Municipal Service Centers in Hamilton including the Glanbrook Municipal Service Centre located at 4280 Binbrook Road.

For more information regarding well water sampling and testing:
• visit website, or
• speak to a Public Health Inspector 905-546-2189.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *