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Casselman, Ont. proposes hooking up to Clarence-Rockland system to solve brown water issue

The water tower in Casselman, Ont. (Shaun Vardon/CTV News Ottawa) The water tower in Casselman, Ont. (Shaun Vardon/CTV News Ottawa)

The municipality of Casselman plans to get its drinking water supply from nearby Clarence-Rockland to solve its ongoing issue with brown water.

The community southeast of Ottawa currently gets its water from the South Nation River, but when river levels go down in the summer, the concentration of manganese goes up, leaving the water smelly and discoloured. Manganese is a mineral that occurs naturally in the rocks and soil in the area.

Last summer, the municipality issued water quality advisories over the issue, though the local health unit said the water met all provincial standards and was safe for adults and older children to drink, despite the discolouration.

In a public notice on its website, the municipality said its water and wastewater infrastructure master plan was complete.

"The preferred alternatives include a new water supply from Clarence-Rockland, watermain and sanitary sewer upgrades, expansion and upgrades to the Casselman lagoon, and sewage pumping station upgrades," it said.

The plan, however, is expected to bear a significant cost that would need provincial and federal support. At a public meeting in April, residents heard it could cost more than $100 million to build infrastructure to connect Casselman's water system to Clarence-Rockland's and perform all of the necessary upgrades.

People can submit comments to the municipality until June 12.

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Shaun Vardon Top Stories

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