Advisory of the day
ST. LUNAIRE GRIQUET: TOWN UNDER TWO BWAS
This story is brought to you in part by Microhydropower Systems & Designs
by Michelle Moore
The town of Lunaire-Griquet in northern Newfoundland is currently under two boil water advisories (BWAs). One was issued on May 23 for Joe's Pond due to repairs on the distribution system. The second was issued for Lookout Brook on May 25 due to the presence of E. coli.
St Lunaire-Griquet has a population of 604 people and is located close to the northern tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. It gets its name from St. Lunaire Bay and Griquet Harbour, both of which were used by French fishermen. Remains of traditional French bread ovens can still be found on Granchain Island.
In the nearby community of l'Anse aux Meadows, Norse expeditions from Greenland built a small encampment. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978; today visitors can walk the same grounds and observe original artifacts at The Viking National Historic Park.
The community is part of Newfoundland's Ice Berg Alley where visitors can watch ice bergs from the shore line even in the month of July. It is also one of the only places where residents still hunt seal out of necessity, as well as the location of the only museum in the world dedicated to the interpretation of wild berries.
St Lunaire-Griquet is so far north that earlier this month the town issued a notice to residents to beware of a polar bear that has been seen roaming the area. The town has no water or sewage system which means all residents and businesses are connected to private or public supply wells.
Lynn Robinson, Media Relations Manager for the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment said "the Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet issued a boil water advisory for the Joe's Pond system because certain parts of the system must be shut off in order to complete repairs to leaks in the system."
The town hopes to have completed repairs over the next two weeks. The BWA will be lifted when the Service NL can conduct the sample tests and analysis is completed. According to Robinson about 500 people are served by this water source.
Lookout Brook is a small surface water system that services the school, a small number of local businesses, and 10 other residences. Robinson said "the town has indicated that it will be addressing the issue of the boil water advisory as it proceeds with the annual system maintenance and cleaning of the dam/reservoir in a few weeks."
Newfoundland and Labrador's Health Department requires two consecutive samples, taken more than twenty-four hours apart, be free of total coliform and E. coli bacteria for a BWA to be lifted.