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Town hires independent firm to evaluate effectiveness of aeration of Tottenham tap water: ongoing studies needed

December 18, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

On December 12, The Town of New Tecumseth released a statement and document of findings provided by RV Anderson, the independent firm hired to monitor and sample the effectiveness of the aeration system on the Tottenham water.

The statement states that using aeration “shows encouraging results in reducing THMs (trihalomethanes) in the Tottenham water system.”

The results have also been posted in full to the Town’s website at

The release reads: “RV Anderson (RVA) has been undertaking an eight-week monitoring and sampling phase to assess the effectiveness of the Aeration System that has been installed in an effort to reduce the total Trihalomethane (THM) levels in the Tottenham water system.

“RVA utilized two methods to evaluate the performance of the aeration system…being:

1. Bench Scale Testing – Used to simulate the full-scale treatment and distribution system to compare TTHM formation in a non-aerated sample against an aerated sample.

2. Full Scale Testing – Used to compare the TTHM formation after the aeration system was turned on to the results prior to commissioning.  

“RVA advises that based on the bench scale tests, a minimum anticipated TTHM reduction would be in the order of 10%. However, based on the full-scale results from the distribution system, average reductions could be in the order of 15%–20%. Furthermore, based on results from Nolan Road, the highest anticipated TTHM reduction in the distribution system could be in the order of 40%.

The most recent quarterly sample average (2019 – Q4) was 35% lower than the previous quarter (2019-Q3), and 15% lower than the same quarter last year (2018 – Q4). 

“RVA recommends that to assess the full impact on the running annual average TTHM level, one full calendar year of results from the Town’s regular compliance sampling program will be required.”

The Times of New Tecumseth & Adjala–Tosorontio requested a statement from the founders of Tottenham Water, Nancy McBride and Cheryl Ann Schmidt, for a response to the release but no response had been received at press time. Tottenham Water has been responsible for bringing the issues with Tottenham’s water to light.

Recently, their efforts have included an awareness campaign to press the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDSB) to “take action to ensure safe, clean, potable water for the students in Tottenham.”

The Times will continue to bring updates as they become available on the monitoring process overseen by RV Anderson, any response from the SMCDSB, or any future messages from Tottenham Water.


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