Alma struggling with critical water shortage, boil water advisory

·2 min read
Jane Chrysostom lives in Alma and owns two businesses on Main Street. She is also an artist and said water advisories often get in the way of her craft.  (Submitted by Jane Chrysostom - image credit)
Jane Chrysostom lives in Alma and owns two businesses on Main Street. She is also an artist and said water advisories often get in the way of her craft. (Submitted by Jane Chrysostom - image credit)

A severe water shortage has prompted a boil water advisory in the village of Alma.

In a news release, Mayor Andrew Case said Alma's water reservoir is at a critically low level, and the village is using its backup well.

The village commended boiling water for one minute prior to consumption — including water used for mixing juice, dental hygiene, washing vegetables, making ice or any other activity requiring human consumption.

Baby formula should be mixed with bottled water and young children should be sponge-bathed to avoid ingesting water, according to the advisory.

Village of Alma/ Facebook
Village of Alma/ Facebook

"Alma water users — please take every precaution to limit water usage," the village said in a Facebook post. "We cannot keep up with the demand and rate at which water is being used."

Alma business owner Jane Chrysostom said the village has a 10-year history of water shortages in the summer, but this year it's different because residents rarely hear about the restricted water use.

"I think the big concern right now is we've had this boil water order for years and years and years, so most people are prepared for it and can deal with it. But the nervousness comes from the lack of water."

Village of Alma/Facebook
Village of Alma/Facebook

She said this usually happens when tourists visit the village and the infrastructure of Alma cannot support the influx.

In 2019, three levels of government put money into the first phase of an improved water system.

The federal government contributed more than $250,000 into research and planning for a new municipal well in the village.

The province of New Brunswick contributed $139,000 and the village $28,000.

"I am staggered by how long it's taking," Chrysostom said It's just incredibly inconvenient for anyone operating a business of any kind."

She owns an artisan shop and a book shop in Alma.

"As an artist, you know, you go to use a lot of water in your studio. So I can't think of anybody who's not impacted by it all."

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