File photo

File photo

Letter to the Editor

Response to “Ma-Me-O Beach residents concerned over continuous waste water system issues.”

First of all we enjoy the Pipestone Flyer as it does have local news stories and not “canned” from a syndicated paper. Thank you for that.

But we are writing you in regards to the article titled “Ma-Me-O Beach residents concerned over continuous waste water system issues.”

We are one of the residents that hooked into the system as soon as we were able as we believe in the system. We still have issues with grey water dumping, some may still have holding tanks that leak, the weight of the heavy dumping trucks that damage our streets, and try having friends over for coffee (remember when we did not have Covid) and smell the stink of neighbors getting pumped out.

This new system will be great once they get the “kinks” out. Yes we are very disappointed that this is the third winter in a row not to be able to use the system. Yes the village did hire a third party consultant to find where the problems were, (koodo’s to them) and now we know there are no leaks BUT it is the heat trace system that failed. You can probably drill a hole in the ground anywhere in Ma-Me-O and still find the residue from outhouses, poor holding tanks or old fields.

One of the things mentioned in the article is water testing which they felt was necessary every month for three years. How many times in that three years has the water been unfit for human consumption because of contaminants? Sure we don’t always drink well water, as well as some of our friends, BUT the reason is the salts in the water, especially sodium, which is bad for high blood pressure. That is the problem with well water not waste. Waste water will get into ground water but most aquifers are so deep surface water does not penetrate. Neither of us are engineers but can read. ALL responsible well owners should have your well tested annually or every two years, the health unit is your best source if information and the kits are free. We know Ma-Me-O tests the water at the hall, old fire hall, washrooms on the beach & their office regularly.

A waste water system has been on the Village agenda since the 1980’s, so many studies have been done at a huge cost. This system is a very researched system, sure you will get other opinions but this is the one that made sense. All of our annual meeting,the waste water system is the top priority. Our council was voted in at our last election on a waste water system platform, so let them do their job.

Because of Covid an annual in face meeting was not possible,council did have a Zoom Municipal Plan Meeting in mid-October which was open to all residents to participate on all subjects with lots of notice including letters to residents who did not have email. There was one person who called the office and was shown how they could participate. We took part in that public meeting but there was very few residents who did. This is how public meeting have been conducted all over the country with Covid, not great, but did happen.

Yes, there were times when we were not happy with lack of communication so we asked and got answers we respected. Yes, in ten years or maybe less there will be a better system as things are changing in this world so fast, but we had to start this clean-up of waste now. We do have a great environmental group here at the lake: Pigeon Lake Water Shed Association. We all need to be concerned about waste, recycling, composting and fertilizers, sewer systems are just one part of the solution but need to get the kinks out.

Thank you to our Council for taking on this huge challenge, they are taxpayers just like the rest of us and have had lots of sleepless nights wanting this to work well.

— Bob & Bonny Mieske, Ma-Me-O Beach Residents.