Letter to the Editor ~ Turner Valley Water


I spent a couple of hours yesterday with a very tolerant young man who sat and listened to me nattering away about some of Turner Valley’s history, at least as I know and have experienced it. I am a witness to horrendous amounts of mercury pollution from testing done years ago in Turner Valley, before we knew the consequences, when mercury was tossed on the floor of the lab and then dumped out the window or into the ditch.

Of course, the ‘water issue’ was raised…his point being that it costs $150,000 every year to test the water and the tests all come back clear… so what a waste of money.
My retort was that the reservoir is built on a proven contaminated site and I would rather pay for tests than drink benzene or mercury.

And so we arrive at the same point in existence, that appeal and anti-appeal people….pro-testers and anti-testers arrive at….

1. What a waste of money OR conversely, 2. Thank God they are testing.

Here is MY thought….
Trying to pretend that Turner Valley is NOT contaminated by every oil and gas chemical known to man and spread all over everywhere and seeping into the ground for over 75 years is just plain STUPID.

Claiming that all these hundreds of contributors to this horrific environmental mess are all devils and evil-doers is just plain STUPID.

Arguing about how wonderful the water has been for residents for the last 75 years is meaningless, with all the digging and cutting and gouging and flooding that has disrupted and disturbed the garbage, chemicals, toxins, and chemicals that were indiscriminately dumped ALL OVER this area.
Times have changed and we have more knowledge now. For heaven’s sake, when I was little, breaking a thermometer was a big deal fun game, watching the weird mercury pellets roll all over the floor and poking them with a stick or your FINGER!

So please, don’t attack me just yet….here is my thought….as I have never understood the argument against testing….I think it’s great value for the money…so why not celebrate our clear SAFE water!

Why, instead of having all this horrid venom and bitching and whinging and spouting about our water … just accept it. It’s a fact….so stop all the pretence and non-scientific whining. IT HAPPENED. IT’S EVERYWHERE. Turner Valley is a wreck from decades of the brand new oil and gas discoveries in the early 20th century.
BUT…so what?! It happened….this is the 21ST CENTURY….and we now have KNOWLEDGE.

I BRAG about our water every chance I get.

We are “The Little Town that COULD!!!!!”

Faced with the 21st century knowledge of 20th century mistakes….we have stepped forward to say…NOT here…NOT anymore.
And we can PROVE IT!!!

We KNOW we have the best water anywhere….because we TEST it. We KNOW there’s a chance of a wreck….but NOT in OUR Town….because we test our water.
Turner Valley’s CAO just released the Town’s 2015 operational budget.
$7, 125,000.00 …….that’s right.


I’m bad at math but Google tells me that $150,000 is 2.1% of $7,000,000.

Taxes are going up….I haven’t even paid my taxes from last year yet, so I’m one of those poor seniors everybody is pretending to defend. I’m also in that category of people who would be most affected by poisoned water…..old persons and babies. So to all you defenders of ‘no tests for water’….could you maybe just take a minute to think about bragging about our water!!!
We’re such a GREAT community that we take SUPER care of our old ones and babies.

In a Town where contamination could have ruined lives, we said….NO.

WE TEST OUR WATER!!!!! And so we KNOW!

$150,000 out of $7,000,000 for healthy clean water.

I think that’s a helluva deal.

~ Cheryle Dobbyn, Turner Valley