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Water Today Title November 27, 2020

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Advisory of the day

Advisory of the day


This story is brought to you in part by Microhydropower Systems & Designs

On August 2 a boil water advisory (BWA) was issued for the community of St. Margaret's in eastern New Brunswick due to a loss of pressure during construction.

St. Margaret's is located in Cumberland County and is considered part of the Greater Miramichi Regional Service Commission. Formed in January 2013, the Commission's goal is to deliver more effective services for small, unincorporated communities in rural areas.

St. Margaret's was once a Royal Canadian Air Force Station and later on a Canadian Forces detachment. Today many of the buildings have been demolished. Now known as James Park, the facility has been converted into a subdivision.

On August 2, the Saint Margaret's Water & Wastewater Commission advised "one of our pumps kicked out during work today and we lost pressure temporarily."

When the base was converted into housing in 1994 the old infrastructure was never updated. Construction on the military base turned subdivision has been in the works to fix the community's long standing water issues.

The statement continued, "the subdivision will be under a BOIL ORDER until further notice and residents may experience some temporary water discolouration and/or air in their lines."

Because St. Margaret's is not considered a municipality it had been difficult to get funding. But in April 2017 they received funds of $2.15 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund.

The funds will allow for water mains to be replaced, the community treatment plant to be renovated and a backup generator to be installed for the plant as the old one was destroyed in an ice storm winter 2017.

All the upgrades are expected to take two to three years to complete. Phase One of the project focused on the water supply building and is now complete. Phase Two began in May after the snow melt allowed work to continue.

The Water Upgrade Project started again on May 28 and workers are in the process of replacing service lines on residential streets. The construction had caused another BWA from June 4 to June 11.

The Saint Margaret's Water & Wastewater Commission said "after speaking with construction workers on site, we've been advised that since the infrastructure being replaced is extremely old that more breaks may occur."

The Commission recommended that residents keep water on hand during construction in the event that another break occurs.

The construction crew on site are seeing to the problem. Initially the loss of pressure resulted in several homes not having any water. Now water is restored but must be brought to a boil for one minute before consumption.

The Saint Margaret's Water & Wastewater Commission is actively working on the problem and will advise residents when water is safe to consume once again.

Please refer to the Dept of Health's guidelines for using water during a Boil Order: "Keep in mind that ALL water destined for drinking, preparing infant formulas and juices, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking and dental hygiene is held at a rolling boil for one minute. Toddlers and infants should be sponge bbathed and caregivers need to ensure no water is swallowed."


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