Source of oil leak found at Thurstonia Park

By Kirk Winter

Residents of Thurstonia Park, near Dunsford, received some good news midday yesterday when the source of the fuel oil leak that is polluting their soil and waterfront was finally discovered 21 days after it was first reported to the provincial Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP).

Councillor Ron Ashmore, who represents the residents of Thurstonia Park at Kawartha Lakes council, shared the good news in an email to the Advocate saying, “They did find the source… I was on the scene (when it was discovered). The city employee from public works and GHD (the private company onsite doing the cleanup) have said it is a private residence. The people (who own the residence) are very upset that this happened as it was an accident. We will find out more details very soon.”

On most other fronts, regarding the leak, its impact on local residents and the ongoing cleanup, Ashmore had very little positive to share stating, “No timeframe has been given on when this nightmare will end. The bill is getting larger for the city and residents are getting impatient and nervous.”

Ashmore reports that the cleanup is moving very slowly despite multiple agencies and groups involved

“Shoreline restoration hasn’t even begun yet as I was told that a special surfactant could be used to clean the oil residue off,” Ashmore said.

“The city did deliver some water,” Ashmore added, “after I persisted and asked that they could for at least some relief.”

Ashmore is getting a little concerned that no one has heard from the MECP in a week, and that the health unit “has been unusually quiet as well and not getting any communications out.”


  1. Jackie Hellawell says:

    The City didn’t want to deliver water until I called Water Depot myself on April 18th asking if the residents could have some water due to the circumstances they were excellent and so happy to help told me I could let the residents know to come in for water free of charge. Then of course the city jumped in to help after they got wind, and delivered some on Friday the 21st now water is there operation and you can no longer fill up there. That was after Ron Ashmore asking and myself asking for several weeks that water be given to the tax paying residents who draw off the lake and cannot use their water. The city delivered notices they couldn’t touch their water yet delivered no water to them from April 3rd to the 21st. The city is taking recognition for something they didn’t organize!. To make matters worse, they delivered water to a street that isn’t even part of the advisory and draws off wells not lake and left a whole street of residents without the water delivery who draw off the lake. They dropped 18 jugs of water to a resident who passed away almost 5 years ago, on a street that wasn’t to get it so a neighbor notified me of it and encouraged me to let residents without water know. I moved those jugs myself over to Mclernon street for those without to take. My main focus is that people get water without any recognition, but it’s hardly in order to praise the city when in my opinion and several others their negligence to care for residents here was terrible.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should the City be buying bottled water for residents affected?
      What would be wrong with the people affected just going and buying their own water?

      At the end of the day, the source of the oil will be identified, and its likely an old fuel oil tank for a furnace or similar.
      Then the homeowner’s liability insurance will get a bill for the clean up and costs such as bottled water.

      • Jackie Hellawell says:

        Within the area of the oil spill are 30 ish residents who draw off the lake and received notices from the health unit they weren’t allowed to use their water for anything including dish washing until further notice. So now all of the residents within the containment area have been without use of their tap water they draw from the lake since April 3rd when they received notices. I called and asked if the water depot would offer water to those affected and they were happy to do so on the 18th of April then on the 21st the city dropped water to everyone in the water advisory.

  2. Wayne Medford says:

    Why was Laurie Scott not contacted?

  3. Jackie Hellawell says:

    I contacted her office as well as other residents all of us got back this generic response saying the city was handling it and the residents who actually live here continued to stay uninformed. The city hasn’t come to the aid of these people with out for weeks! And it’s unfortunate many are being lead to believe they have. The only care out of that city that came to us was our wards councilor and it’s residents

  4. Jim morasse says:

    Now that they found the leak was from a private residents. Our they responsible for paying for the cleanup ?

  5. Pete Walendzewicz says:

    Don’t expect any help from you elected politician and you won’t be disapointed

  6. Anonymous says:

    When a house is built in an area without a municipal water system, typically a well is drilled or dug. Drawing from a lake is known to be a low cost alternative and a cost saving risk to the family that a homeowner should take into consideration. Unlike federal programs for Indigenous, local municipalities do not normally offer to provide or guarantee any water to the taxpayer other than what is available in “serviced subdivisions”, which have been paid for with builder developmental fees in turn paid by the homeowner in the cost of the house. Everyone is required to get and pay for their own water, it is not a “right” and not free, and although we admire and recommend charity, no one should expect someone else to pay for it, or complain if the charity isn’t sufficient.

  7. Whitney Hunter says:

    Are you actually kidding me? Water actually is a right. It is of no fault of of the Thurstonia residents who draw off the lake their water is contaminated. Clearly you have not been affected. Let’s see how you deal with no shower, no rinsing water, no DRINKING WATER! Would like to wash your clothes with water contaminated with fuel/oil? The municipality has known these residents draw off the lake and yet waited days to inform them their water supply was unsafe. They pay taxes as we all do. So you’d think the city could at the very least supply some drinking water, because, as human beings, water is a right! How could possibly say it’s not? We cannot live without water. So anonymous, it’s no wonder you remain anonymous because I wonder if you even live here. Water is not a right, that remark is just ridiculous

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