Asvisory of the Day
GEORGE'S BROOK-MILTON, NL: FACED WITH RAPIDLY DROPPING WATER LEVELS, GEORGE'S BROOK-MILTON LOOKS TO NEIGHBOURING CLARENVILLE, NL
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The community of George's Brook-Milton (pop. 382), Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), incorporated in May 2017, has on occasion "had to endure water outages for days." The George's Brook-Milton Local Service District (LSD) Facebook page is the only official online presence for the district and is managed by its Chair Person Craig Pardy. The page itself not only offered a means of connecting with residents, it also gave a detailed timeline of the LSD's recent water trouble.
A new permanent water connection for Milton was already in the works. On June 5, the George's Brook-Milton Local Service District posted that it expected work to begin on connecting Milton to the George's Brook pump house "as early as Monday, June 12." Work did not begin as early as expected, a water outage was reported on June 27 due to a "$17,000.00 upgrade [to the George's Brook] pump house," before the first phase of the connection was about to start.
On July 4, the first indication of dropping water levels appeared. The District posted that the "water supply, was now 34 inches below the top." This indicated that levels had dropped 14 inches since June 28. Residents of the community were urged to conserve water as it was estimated that it would take another "6-7 weeks to have the new Water Main brought into Milton from George's Brook."
On July 18, the water supply level was "down 47 inches [from top] and 60 inches is the critical level when [the community] may lose it." Residents were told to avoid "watering lawns, filling pools, and washing vehicles."
The 20th saw the LSD go on the offensive in response to a report that surfaced in the community media. It proudly stated, "that once Milton is attached to the George's Pond supply network, George's Brook-Milton will have the good fortune of a supply comparable to that of Clarenville's Andrew's Pond and ought not to have any further issues with water supply and access thereafter."
This was in response to the neighbouring town of Clarenville suggesting that it had to meet to determine if it was able to sell water to George's Brook-Milton to help it meet its short-term need. The LSD affirmed that it would "assist the family members and residents of The Town of Clarenville now, and into the future," if roles were reversed and suggested that it would put in place conservation measures to be able to help. The statement made a call to the greater good sending the message "working together, we build stronger communities, create stronger bonds between residents, and are better positioned to engage in a greater vision."
The statement ended with "please be clear, George's Brook-Milton is not in the "Business" of "Buying" water, this is an emergency situation." That same day the samples from the first phase of the hookup were sent to be analyzed and if all went well that area of Milton would be connected "by the middle of next week."
Just two days later the LSD received another alarming report. Early that evening the water was "53,5 inches below" optimal supply level. It appeared as though the water was dropping "1 inch a day."
A water outage is expected in the community tomorrow allowing for a water line connection. Approval was given to a "chlorine assessment allowing [George's Brook-Milton] to permanently connect the new [water line] with the old." On Thursday, the first homes will be connected to the George's Brook pumping station.
There is light at the end of this tunnel, George's Brook-Milton is in the process of permanently connecting the two communities water systems which will ensure that the residents of Milton will never have to worry about Lily Pond running dry again. To bridge the gap until all of the residents of Milton are connected to the new system, at 6:25 PM EST, 7:55 in Newfoundland, the LSD posted that Clarenville just voted to sell water to the community in the interim.
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