The Town of St. Alban’s has had some major issues over the past few years with water leaks and pressure to certain areas of town.
Engineers have been in to assess the leaks and have determined that the problem is far more severe than expected. In an earlier interview, Mayor Rod Kendall stated the following:
“The leak assessment report stated there are more major leaks in town than expected. Some of the areas in town have gross amounts of leakage. There are areas that are so bad that for every litre of water we expected a normal household to use, there are five litres going back into the ground.
Restoring the water supply system to acceptable levels of service is our number one priority.”
Since this statement back in April, things have gotten worse for some residents in town having little water to not having a drop on a daily basis. Residents and council are fustrated and concerned with this issue and are trying desperately to resolve this problem.
Robert Organ is one of the residents who is very fustrated with the situtaion. Mr. Organ lives on Rabbit Town Road and stated that this year has been the worst ever for losing his water.
“We have always had problems in the spring but never this bad. Usually the leaks would develop with the spring thaw and we would lose our water for a day or so but it would resume quickly.
This summer we go without water for days and days without a drop. I’ve talked to the town employees on a number of occassions and I get the same answer each time - that is we have a lot of leaks throughout our system and we can’t find them.”
“Something as simple as doing dishes, flushing a toilet or having a shower is next to impossible. Residents in these areas have to notify their neighbors to not flush their toilet if they are lucky enough to have enough water to have a shower on a rare day. Another lady home on holidays with her two small children stated that she has to bath her baby with bottled water.
“I realize that the towns water and sewer system is over forty years old and everyone can expect leaks from time to time but I never thought it would ever get this bad,” stated Mr. Organ.
Twenty years ago a big water holding tank was installed up by Mr. Organ’s home and they assumed that the water pressure issue would be solved but this was not the case.
“I think there are a number of reasons why we’ve lost so much water pressure on the hillside where we live, one being that our town has grown in size over the last number of years with a large number of new homes being built.
I belive the towns pumps can’t keep up with the increase. I have been told that the pumps are putting out enough water for a town twice this size but we would like to know where all the water is going.
It is very fustrating to not be able to shower in the mornings, wash clothes, dishes and so on. I don’t like being hard on our town council members because they are only volunteers but you really don’t know what it’s like until you lose your water for days.”
Mr. Organ stated that when this is resolved and the repairs are made, hopefully soon, “I’ll never waste another drop of water.”
Main cause of problem
The town has enough water to keep the town going but the leaks are preventing the water from traveling to each household.
This has become a major concern for everyone involved and the lack of pressure to pump the supply to homes on high elevation areas is very fustarting to many.
Residents are hoping for some good news in the near future to help solve this problem and after asking Mayor Kendell for an update on this matter he expressed his fustrations also but stated they have been actively lobbying Government for funding, including a meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Kevin O’Brien.
“The meeting with the minister went very well with representatives from the Town of St. Alban’s, the Towns Engineer and the Minister having an open and honest discussion,”stated Mayor Kendell.
On July 11th, 430,000 was announced for St. Alban’s Water Servicing.
The Town of St. Alban’s will receive approximately $430,000 in Provincial Government funding through the 2012 Municipal Capital Works Program to complete the next phase of repairs and replacement of the town watermain.
This work will help address water shortage issues the town has experienced in recent years and provide for a more sustainable water system.
Mayor Kendall stated he is pleased with the additional funding, but the water issue continues to deteriorate with residents experiencing extended periods, up to nine days, without water.
The Town of St. Alban’s received $580,620 in provincial funding in 2011 for the first phase of the water servicing project.
Council acively addressing issue
Mayor Kendall is actively engaged in working with the Towns Engineer to identify the potential short and long term solutions.
“After talking with a number of residents, the town has purchased a supply of drinking water for the residents who are experiencing a total loss of water,” said Mayor Kendell. “The next step is to obtain some emergency assistance from Municipal Affairs to sink an artesian well in the area of the water tank at Summit Drive. If this well is successful, then a pumping system, treatment equipment, and piping will be installed to begin filling the tank.
This water will be used to supply a number of the residents in the elevated areas of town. The target dates for this well, is intended to be aggressive, with the sinking of the well in the next few weeks.
In the interim, the town has started the process to obtain emergency funding for the well and to request the assistance from the professional engineers at the Department of Municipal Affairs.”