Wa­ter bliss in White­way

Town re­ceives new wa­ter dis­pens­ing sys­tem


The Town of White­way will of­fi­cially roll out its new potable wa­ter dis­pens­ing sys­tem dur­ing an open house July 14 at the sys­tems lo­ca­tion next to R & R Kitchens Lim­ited.

White­way Mayor Craig Whe­lan said he ex­pects gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to be in at­ten­dance for the un­veil­ing of the $300,000 pro­ject. The open house runs from 10 a.m.2 p.m.

The sys­tem has been avail­able to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity of White­way be­tween the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. for the last two weeks.

The dis­pens­ing sys­tem is con­nected di­rectly to the town’s wa­ter sup­ply and is “very easy to use,” ac­cord­ing to Whe­lan.

Users sim­ply hit a dis­pens­ing but­ton on a panel on the far right wall from the en­trance; place their con­tainer on the clean­ing faucet, be­fore us­ing one of two pumps for fresh, clean wa­ter.

“Once you learn it, it’s easy,” said White­way res­i­dent Les­lie Har­num.

The sys­tem is a wel­comed addition in White­way.

The town’s wa­ter sys­tem is un­able to be flushed, so there is some­times dirt in the lines. It is some­thing Whe­lan hopes to have fixed when a planned wa­ter sup­ply is con­structed in the town.

“Some peo­ple are not too keen about tast­ing dirt in their wa­ter,” he said.

Har­num is one of those res­i­dents. He has trou­ble with the taste of chlo­rine in his wa­ter.

Af­ter the town had been iden­ti­fied as a can­di­date for the sys­tem, it ap­plied and was ac­cepted.

Not only will the new dis­pens­ing sys­tem be of great use to the res­i­dents of White­way, Whe­lan also fig­ures lo­cal busi­nesses will be able to avail of the fresh wa­ter as well.

“Brown’s (Restau­rant) can come up and get a cou­ple of con­tain­ers filled for cook­ing pur­poses,” he said.

Pilot pro­ject

White­way was one of 14 com­mu­ni­ties in New­found­land and Labrador to be se­lected as a part of a pilot pro­ject for the dis­pens­ing sys­tem.

“As far as I know, we are the first town in eastern New­found­land to have the sys­tem,” said Whe­lan.

Prior to its se­lec­tion, the provin­cial gov­ern­ment con­ducted a study of towns on the is­land that had prob­lems with its wa­ter. White­way was iden­ti­fied as a po­ten­tial site.

Upon en­ter­ing into the pro­ject, the gov­ern­ment agreed to a 90-10 split of the cost.

“It cost the town roughly $30,000 to have the sys­tem put in,” said Whe­lan.

Whe­lan isn’t wor­ried about the cost and con­sid­ers the sys­tem a “good in­vest­ment” for his com­mu­nity.

He feels that be­fore long the sys­tem will “pay for it­self.”

It is a lux­ury the town can af­ford un­der its cur­rent tax struc­ture, said Whalen.

A large part of that is the town’s $438,602 bud­get for 2012, which makes White­way one of the rich­est towns for its size in the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion area.

Whe­lan, who owns a con­struc­tion com­pany, said he is cur­rently over­see­ing seven hous­ing projects in the com­mu­nity.

Curb­ing overuse

White­way is the mid­dle town of a clus­ter of three in Trin­ity Bay South. Green’s Har­bour and Cavendish are the other two.

Right now, the plan is for the ser­vice to be ex­clu­sive to res­i­dents of White­way, stated Whe­lan.

“The town paid a cost-shar­ing por­tion of the pro­ject,” he said.

Whe­lan fore­sees that only be­ing a tem­po­rary plan.

“In fu­ture meet­ings, we’re go­ing to look at, if gov­ern­ment will al­low it of course, charg­ing a min­i­mum fee for some­one out­side to come in and use it,” he said.

With projects like the one in White­way, there is al­ways the threat of peo­ple tak­ing ad­van­tage of the re­source.

Whe­lan said the town is look­ing at two op­tions in an ef­fort to cut it off at the pass.

“We are look­ing at ei­ther a swipe card sys­tem or in­stalling se­cu­rity cam­eras,” he said.

There can be more has­sle with the card sys­tem, es­pe­cially if a res­i­dent mis­places the card and the town has to re­place it.

“We may just go with an open door and se­cu­rity cam­eras,” said Whe­lan.


White­way Mayor Craig Whe­lan (front) shows res­i­dent Les­lie Har­num how to use the town’s new potable wa­ter dis­pens­ing sys­tem.

Photo by Danette Doo­ley/spe­cial to TC Me­dia

San­dra White is pro­gram co-or­di­na­tor for the prov­ince’s Or­gan Pro­cure­ment and Ex­change Net­work. White en­cour­ages peo­ple to talk to their fam­ily about their endof-life wishes.

Pho­tos by Nicholas Mercer/the Com­pass

White­way Mayor Craig Whe­lan holds up a glass of freshly poured wa­ter from the town’s new dis­pens­ing sys­tem.

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