If everything goes as planned, a year and a half boil order in St. Lunaire-Griquet could be lifted soon.
Yesterday, the town started major upgrades to its water systems. It will involve pump house interior overhauled and should be completed in the coming weeks.
Mayor Gerald Hillier said the boil order basically came down to the age of the pump house.
Hillier said, the pipes hadn’t been replaced since they were installed in the 1970s, and the lines had begun to rust. The lines could no longer handle the pressure.
“The chlorine system gave out, and the system we have set up isn’t adequate for supplying enough chlorine to the system,” he said.
“Our pumps were also wore out, but we replaced those along with a new panel box last year,” he said.
On average the town uses 200,000 gallons of water per day.
This year, the chlorine system and pipes will be replaced.
In addition, although the town’s waterline is only six inches in diameter, 90 feet of 3 foot in diameter pipe will be run from the pump house towards the first house tied into the line.
“Really, what it is, is an underground reservoir,” he said. “It allows the proper contact time, so the water can be chlorinated before it gets to the first house.
“When it’s done we are going to have a state of the art pump house.”
Hillier said all this work is taking place in consultation with, and approved by, engineers and the Department of Municipal Affairs.
In total the upgrades come in at $817,000.
Off the top, Hillier said, the town will be putting $198,000 of its gas tax fund towards the project.
The remainder will be cost shared on 90-10 split with provincial government.
“So really the town is paying (approximately) one-third the cost,” he said.
The town is running a 13 per cent debt service ratio – meaning 13 cents of every budgeted dollar is used to pay down municipal debt – so Hillier said the town is well positioned to incur the cost.
He said he’s extremely pleased to have the work moving forward, because it’s time to get the boil order lifted.
“There wasn’t anything council could do about it until we were able to get a new chlorine system in place, and now that’s happening,” he said.
There’s also peace of mind that comes with knowing systems have been upgraded and will be in working order.
“It’s an exciting moment for the town and council,” he said. “There are things that need to be done within town, but at the moment the biggest thing needed was the pump house upgraded.
“Once that’s done we are able to move onto something else.”