BROCKTON – Council has agreed to allow four homes in Walker West Estates to hook up to town water prior to the commissioning of the new pumping station.
Tie-in to the watermain on Bruce Road 2 and into the booster pumping station will take place on May 30 and 31. However, the pumping station won’t be commissioned until the week of June 13.
“It’s nice to see there is an option for residents,” said Coun. James Lang, who lives in the area. “It’s a great option.”
Coun. Steve Adams was also in support of the concept.
“I support the four connections,” he said. “Veolia (Water Co.) is an outstanding company… they look after our water very well.”
Coun. Kym Hutcheon raised the possibility of the homeowners signing a waiver and perhaps encouraging them to use bottled water for a few weeks, but CAO Sonya Watson said she didn’t think a waiver would be necessary.
Coun. Tim Elphick said he’d been hesitant but is now “satisfied with the mitigations… I’m confident moving forward,” he said.
Gregg Furtney, director of operations, explained in a report that completion of the pumping station project has been delayed about four months. There has been “significant progress” with the project in terms of the arrival and installation of some components. Delays were primarily due to the same COVID-related supply chain issues that have had a worldwide impact.
Hydro One was asked to expedite the work but was unable to accommodate the municipality’s project timeline. Hydro One will be doing its work on June 7 and 8.
The pumping station is necessary to provide enough water pressure for the residences in the new subdivision, as well as fire flow pressure should there be a fire response, Furtney explained in a second report.
Repeated delays in the project have resulted in the construction and commissioning date of the pumping station being what Furtney described as a “moving target.” This has put the new property owners in a difficult situation regarding mortgages and other legal matters.
For the chief building official to give permission for occupancy, there has to be confirmation safe drinking water is being supplied to the residence. Staff have been reluctant to allow any water connections prior to commissioning of the pumping station due to concern over public health and safety, and possible risk of contaminating the municipal water supply.
Furtney said in the report many of those concerns have been mitigated. The fire department has a plan in place for fire suppression.
Veolia has developed a contingency plan that includes daily monitoring of both the water pressure and chlorine residuals. Should any problems be observed, the municipality and Veolia are prepared to issue a boil water advisory.
Furtney further stated municipal officials have had “extensive consultations with our engineers, ministry staff and Veolia.” While no one was willing to put anything in writing, they have advised it is “unlikely pressures will drop below the legislated limit,” the director of operations said.
He added that while there are risks, this is a short-term situation with “well-thought-out mitigation strategies.”
There was a brief mention of recent storm damage in the province possibly affecting Hydro One’s ability to stay with the planned completion date. Furtney said he’d contact Hydro One.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times