Water expert hopes Barrie event will flood with interest

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Published January 29, 2016, in the Barrie Advance

"Imagine you spread anti-bacterial liquid all over your hands. Later that day, you wash your hands with soap and water.

Those germ-fighting chemicals are now running down the drain with Barrie’s water supply headed to the sewage treatment plant.

Such chemicals can negatively affect water ecology, warns Connie Spek, a local water expert. “We almost take it for granted. It’s easy to ignore things that have always been there,” she said.

The former member of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority is one of four speakers at a free, public event Jan. 30. Experts will discuss issues surrounding regional water, farmland and natural heritage systems.

Expanding Ontario’s Greenbelt in Simcoe County is also on the agenda.

The event is organized by AWARE Simcoe and Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition.

Spek said people put chemicals down the drain without realizing it, such as hormones from medication that show up in urine and Nano silver from antibacterial yarn, used in odour-free socks.

“We’re a modern society (but) we kind of let things slide,” she said. “The most startling thing to happen in our province was Walkerton. I turn on the tap – that’s municipal water – and it’s safe. I make that assumption.”

Although the water crisis in Walkerton in 2000 sparked increased regulations and source-water protection, Spek said there is always more people can do."

Read the rest, here.

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