Nestle to proceed with July pump test at Victoria Road site

Nestlé Waters Canada will begin a pumping test sometime next month in its continuing search for a secondary well near Victoria Road.

Nestlé Supply Chain Dir­ector Michel McArthur told Puslinch council last week the test should commence either the first or second week of July and will last about two months.

McArthur said the “step pump test” means pumping water from five different bore holes for five hours, each one every other day. The initial flow will be 50 gallons per minute, escalating to 100.

“The whole purpose is to trigger a reaction in the monitoring areas,” he said. But when asked if the test stops at the 100 gallons per minute threshold or if the volume is increased until there is a reaction, McArthur was unsure.

As for monitoring, he told council there were 25 requests from residents who wanted private wells watched during the test, but 11 were either not ac­cessible nor suited for that.

So Nestlé will be installing monitoring equipment on the remaining 14 wells, as well as three others in the Guelph aqui­fer in areas where there are no residential wells. McArthur expects that work to be completed by the end of this week.

“We have very good coverage,” he said of the monitoring. He noted that there is “a lot of overlap” in the areas where the 14 residential wells are located, but Nestlé has agreed to monitor all those because that is what residents want.

The water used during the test, he said, would be released into a surface water source outside the test area – Aberfoyle Creek.

“It will all be done in a way so we’re not affecting the test  results, or our neighbours,” he said.

McArthur explained that his understanding is the test is a “preliminary” measure to see what each well yields, and Nestlé would then proceed with a longer test – about one month or so – on just one of the five wells on its site.

McArthur assured Mayor Brad Whitcombe and the rest of council that Nestlé will notify the township when the step pump test begins.