Potable wa­ter to flow in White­way

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH -

The provin­cial gov­ern­ment has an­nounced that White­way is one of 11 New­found­land and Labrador com­mu­ni­ties to re­ceive potable wa­ter dis­pens­ing units.

But Mayor Craig Whalen is not yet ready tip up a glass of cold, clean wa­ter in cel­e­bra­tion.

Whalen says his com­mu­nity has been work­ing with the gov­ern­ment for many months on the project, and he’s frus­trated that it’s taken so long.

“I don’t want to run down this project, but I’m hop­ing all these other com­mu­ni­ties do not run into the same snarls,” said Whalen.

The province an­nounced last week­that these small-scale wa­ter treat­ment sys­tems will be in­stalled in the fol­low­ing com­mu­ni­ties:White­way, Fox Roost­Mar­ga­ree, Isle aux Morts, Lawn, Lead­ing Tick­les, Makkovik, Mary’s Har­bour, Point May, Postville, Rigo­let, and Seal Cove, For­tune Bay.

The sys­tems are used to pump and treat wa­ter from the mu­nic­i­pal sup­ply, store the treated wa­ter and al­low res­i­dents to man­u­ally col­lect the wa­ter from small shel­ters.

The cost of build­ing each unit ranges from $325,000 to $350,000, and each has an an­nual op­er­at­ing cost of $2,500 to $3,000.

The units will pro­vide res­i­dents with clean and safe drink­ing wa­ter.

They are funded by the provin­cial gov­ern­ment’s Mu­nic­i­pal Cap­i­tal Works pro­gram and the drink- ing wa­ter safety ini­tia­tive.

Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties with pop­u­la­tions of 500 or less with drink­ing wa­ter is­sues are eli­gi­ble for a provin­cial/mu­nic­i­pal cost-shar­ing ra­tio of 90/10 for potable wa­ter dis­pens­ing units.

“Clean and safe drink­ing wa­ter is a pri­or­ity for the provin­cial gov­ern­ment,” said Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Kevin O’Brien, in a news re­lease.

“ These sys­tems pro­vide treated wa­ter for drink­ing and food prepa­ra­tion and are avail­able at a low con­struc­tion and op­er­at­ing cost.”

Whalen said his com­mu­nity was in­formed a year ago that it would re­ceive a potable drink­ing wa­ter unit, and that it would be a pi­lot project for the rest of the province.

He said it didn’t quite work out the way it was planned.

He said the ini­tial cost pro­jec­tions of be­tween $ 250,000 and $275,000 for a sin­gle sys­tem were far be­low the ac­tual costs quoted by sup­pli­ers.

“ We’ve been at this coming on two years, and we still don’t have any wa­ter,” said Whalen.

Some $60,000 was spent last year on site work in White­way, Whalen ex­plained.

“ The gov­ern­ment is mak­ing a lovely an­nounce­ment to­day. But it hasn’t gone very smoothly for us up to this point,” Whalen stated.

The province said a num­ber of other com­mu­ni­ties are also in the process of re­view­ing such projects.

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