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Water Today Title November 25, 2017

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Bwa of the day - Orangedale, NS

Article on Orangedale BWA
ruffles feathers at Water Society - 11/26/12

Our article "No comment, ask at the General Store" (see below), published earlier this month and subesequently rewritten by Adam Cooke for the Port Hawkesbury Reporter does not sit well with Kathleen Macdonald, one of the Directors of the Orangedale Water Society.

As reported in our earlier article, our original conversation with Macdonald resulted in a curt "I have no comment for the moment".

Here's some background.

The Nova Scotia Environment first published a notice for the Orangedale BWA on its report dated October 26; it listed the advisory as effective on October 23. On the subsequent Ministry report dated November 9, the Orangedale advisory was still listed. So, when Adam Cooke called us on November 19 to ask if there had been any further developments on the advisory we said that there were none that we knew of. None of our calls to the Ministry were returned and the advisory was still listed on the Ministry report. The BWA was eventually removed from the Nova Scotia Environment advisory report on the November 22.

In the meantime, the printed version of the Port Hawkesbury Reporter article came out.

Kathleen Macodnald was furious.

First, she was upset that the Reporter's article, stated that the BWA was still in effect when, according to her it had been lifted on November 7. She allowed that the advisory was caused by a line break which occurred on October 17 when work crews fixing the road mistakenly hit the water line. The break was fixed on October 18 and the advisory lifted on November 7 after two clear tests were received from the labs.

When it was pointed out that she had refused to talk to us when we first called, she said" Well, I did not have any comments at the time".

Macdonald also took offense with a reference to a WordPress Blog (October 2011), called Cape Breton News, that stated that Orangedale got its water from a sinkhole, when in fact, according to her, a water line was built to allow the Orangedale society to tap into clean spring water in a mountain six kilometres away.

A 2006 Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency news release "Orangedale Community to receive new water system" did not sit well with the Orangedale Water Society Director either. The release stated that Federal and provincial governments were contributing $185,000 and that The Orangedale Water Society would fund the balance of the project. "we don't have that kind of money", she said."We are a privately-owned water supplier. We do the best we can with the resources we have"

"We provide clean fresh water to our users".

Initial Article

No comment, ask at the General Store - 11/5/12

When Adam Cook of the Port Hawkesbury Reporter in Nova Scotia called us last Friday (11/2/12), to ask why there was a boil water advisory in Orangedale, NS, we had to say we didn't know. Nova Scotia Environment publishes a list of advisories on a more or less regular basis, but does not provide any detail as to their cause.

The Reporter had also tried in vain to reach someone at the Orangedale Water Society. But, the line just kept ringing, no answer, no voice mail. We agreed to help.

No easy task. Calls put in to three different Nova Scotia Environment offices were all met with Voicemail. More calls to the MLA's and the mayor's offices, also led to canned messages. There was no one to pick up at the Eagle D'Or cottages either. Anyway, none of our messages have been returned as of yet.

Luckily, someone picked up our call at the G H Smith & Sons General Store. Yes,there was a boil water advisory in Orangedale. It was caused by a line break. And yes, she did know the number for the Orangedale Water Society, where our call was finally answered. But not our questions. " I have no comment for the moment" was the only answer we could get. You have to wonder what there possibly could be to hide.

So three days later, our best answer is that according to the General Store, a line break caused the advisory in Orangedale. Not that anyone wants to elaborate.

Here is what a Google search brought up about the Orangedale Water Society:

May 2006
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency publishes this news release

September 2006
the CBC runs a story entitled
    "Clear water 'a nice Christmas present' for Orangedale"

October 2008
Water Canada re-publishes a Cape Breton Post articles:

October 2011
A Wordpress Blog entitled Cape Breton News states:
    "The village of Orangedale has a central water supply which comes from a sink hole system, is operated by the Orangedale Water Society and has 55 subscribers, both residential and commercial. The society is currently attempting to find other sources of better quality water for the community. Outside the village, the water source is private wells. Sewage treatment is by private septics, except for the Lakeview Seniors Complex which has a larger system.

A bit about Orangedale, NS

Orangedale is a rural community located in Inverness County, Nova Scotia. Founded by Orangemen who settled in the vicinity of the Cape Breton Island's Bras d'Or Lake, Orangedale was a small farming and fishing community until 1886 when the Intercolonial Railway of Canada mainline from Sydney to Point Tupper was constructed. Orangedale became host to a Victorian-period 2-storey wooden railway passenger station and became the preferred stop for many passengers heading to and from northern Cape Breton Island.

The community developed into a small railway service centre, with the majority of its residents being employed by the railway. The ICR was absorbed into the Canadian National Railways in 1918 and in 1993, CN sold the line to Sydney to the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway. Passenger rail service stopped following the January 15, 1990 budget cuts by Via Rail Canada.

In 1988 a group of community volunteers formed to save the original ICR station from being demolished. Today it is part of an extensive railway museum.

Related info:
Orangedale Railway Museum
The Orangedale Whistle - The Rankins, YouTube


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