Lightning strikes twice in Carbonear
Control panel for Blueberry Crescent lift station fried
For at least the second time this year, lightning is proving to be a costly foe to Carbonear’s infrastructure.
At last Tuesday’s council meeting, director of public works Brian O’Grady updated council on issues with the water lift station on Blueberry Crescent.
At the heart of the problem is the control panel. Similar to what happened with the panel responsible for traffic lights at the intersection of Goff Avenue and Columbus Drive earlier this year, the town believes lightning is at fault.
“Basically, the control panel has been fried,” he said.
The control panel for the lift station looks after two pumps, turning one on and alternating between the two, bring both on when necessary. With the failure of the panel, the lift station is now relying solely on one pump.
“If it fails, it won’t switch over,” he said. “It’s been working OK. We’ve been monitoring it closely, but it is something that needs to be addressed.”
The cost to repair and replace components will exceed $12,000. Council unanimously approved the motion to proceed with the purchase and installation.
Asked about the ability to protect infrastructure from these sorts of mishaps, O’Grady admitted little can be done in this case.
“Unfortunately, the grounding is not designed for that voltage, and it just bypasses and basically sends a charge instantly through,” he said, adding lightning arresters used to protect power and telecommunications systems wouldn’t be appropriate in the case of a relatively small control panel.
Change room renovations
The Town of Carbonear has awarded a tender to CHM Construction Ltd. for renovations to change rooms at the Carbonear Swimming Pool.
The tender closed Dec. 2, and the Mount Pearl company came in with the lowest bid at $99,000.
Town recreation director Rob Button said work should start within the next month. While renovations take place in the main change rooms, pool users will need to uses change rooms located at the back of the building. There is no firm estimate on how long the job will take.
Brian O’Grady is Carbonear’s director of public works.