Water shutting off overnight in Botwood area, as supply problems persist

·2 min read

Kids should be able to go to school on Wednesday in Botwood, after missing Tuesday due to issues with the town's water supply.

That said, it will take a sacrifice from residents of the region. There will be no water from 9 p.m. Tuesday until 7 a.m. Wednesday for Botwood, Peterview and Northern Arm, in order to allow the regional water supply to fill up again.

There is also a boil order in place for when the water is turned back on.

While town workers thought they'd found a major leak in a line leading into the region on Monday, they now don't believe that was the root of the problem.

Botwood Mayor Scott Sceviour said the consensus is that it must be a clog within the town's 80-year-old pipes.

He's asking people to be patient, as the problem continues to persist longer than anyone wanted.

"It's going to be a day-by-day decision now," he said. "We still ask our residents to conserve water."

Boil orders and shuttered valves are nothing new for Botwood residents. The town had a long history with water issues when it was drawing from nearby Peter's River. There were issues with discolouration and bouts with beaver fever.

Submitted by Linda Lane
Submitted by Linda Lane

It eventually led to the trio of neighbouring towns to be connected to the Exploits Valley Water Treatment Facility with an 18-kilometre line.

The problem, Sceviour said, is that new line connects to aging infrastructure underground.

"It's supreme water but at the end of the day, it's still gotta flow through 80-year-old pipes."

Botwood applied for funding to replace the 3.5-kilometre main line, but was denied. It later received federal funding to buy a piece of equipment called a pig launcher, which would send a coarse projectile through the pipes and clear out blockages. Work on that was set to start in the spring.

The town is still searching for quicker solutions.

"The challenge here is the residents only hear we're turning off water and turning on water and looking for breaks," Sceviour said. "I don't think they realize the work from our outside staff and our inside staff that's going into trying to get us to where we're at right now."

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