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Water Today Title July 7, 2022

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Asvisory of the Day



The province of Nova Scotia has historical experience with major flooding. Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) website cites examples of catastrophic flooding such as the "record storm surge flooding along the Bay of Fundy coastline during the Saxby Gale of 1869." The site also points to "the serious flooding in Oxford and Truro in 2003 resulting from heavy rain."

Brian Taylor with Communications Nova Scotia for Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Internal Services and Public Service Commission said that "typical issues related to infrastructure as a result of flooding are washed out roads and culverts, [and] eroding of shoulders and coastlines." There are areas where the roads become inaccessible with no damage, "in other cases culverts and shoulders will need to be repaired after the water recedes," Taylor added.

Taylor underlines that "any time structure or roads near water courses are repaired or replaced, they are designed and upgraded to accommodate and withstand current and, to the extent possible, future weather patterns."

The province relies on a federal financial program in times of disaster to aid residents, businesses and non-profits. Taylor said that in "Nova Scotia the program becomes available when the damage exceeds $3 million."

Municipalities play leading roles in times of floods, the Emergency Management Office (EMO) supports the municipal effort in terms of planning, training and response. The EMO coordinates the efforts between departments for road closures and when the situation involves electricity they "would liaise with Nova Scotia Power," Taylor said.

Taylor highlighted that "the EMO works closely with partners on a regular basis on emergency planning and preparedness to support the safety and security of all Nova Scotians if an Emergency Happens."

In terms of drinking water, Taylor said that "flooding can lead to the contamination of well water with bacteria and chemical contaminants." Taylor added that "shallow aquifers may also have water quality affected, [with] increased turbidity and bacteria levels," though deeper groundwater will be more naturally protected.

The province produced a fact sheet on well water in flood situations and once it is operational again encourages individuals to flush well, disinfect, test for bacteria and chemicals. If Water is not clear after the results residents should contact NSE.

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