Woodstock town crews scurrying to restore water

·2 min read

A water-main break near the town’s wellhouse left most of Woodstock without water Monday morning, June 13, and the entire town under a boil-water advisory.

Woodstock CAO Andrew Garnett said crews worked through the night and continued to work to repair the water line, which broke Sunday evening.

Speaking to the River Valley Sun at approximately 10:30 a.m Monday, Garnett said the repair would take at least two more hours, maybe more. He added the boil order would be in place for a minimum of two days.

Most residents and businesses began the work week without water, forcing the closure of all three Woodstock schools and most restaurants.

While restaurants inside town boundaries closed their doors, business was booming for those outside town limits with wells instead of town water.

Staff at Country Style coffee shop, part of the Kojax Convenience complex, which also includes Quiznos, said they handled many more customers than usual Monday morning.

Garnett said the water main break stopped the water flow to all three water tanks at Charles Street, St. Andrews Street and Eastwood Heights. He noted areas fed by the Eastwood Heights system still had water early Monday morning but experienced low pressure. The other tanks are already out of water.

Garnett said until crews repair the break, the system can’t replace the water in the tanks. He said water would flow again once staff completed repairs and flushed the lines.

He said the boil order would not be lifted for at least two days. He said the province requires two clear samples over two days before officials would cancel the boil order.

Garnett said that if crews complete repairs in time to take samples on Monday, they can do second tests on Tuesday and hope both meet provincial standards.

The CAO said Woodstock’s second water source in Grafton, created to provide backup for similar problems, is still not online. He said Dillon Consultants are taking the final steps to begin operation.

Garnett explained that even if operating, the town could not have used the backup until it completed valve adjustments. He added the town needs the new well to serve as more than a backup. He said current, and future water demands required the second well.

Sunday night’s water break has been the town’s second major water-related issue in recent weeks. Valve damage and supply-chain issues forced the town’s 20-year-old manganese filtration system to shut down.

Garnett said the long-awaited parts arrived and were installed by town crews. As a result, the backwash operation began again, and the manganese plant was back in operation.

Garnett acknowledged that manganese levels had not dropped as quickly as hoped, but they would continue monitoring them.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun

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