Riverhead resident says Mercer’s well situation puts them in Third World conditions
Still causing water and sewage issues for residents
Residents of Riverhead once again raised their concerns about their living conditions during a town council meeting in Harbour Grace.
The July 11 meeting saw the council chambers filled — and then some — with residents of Riverhead concerned about their own well-being, after enduring several weeks without proper water and sewage services due to ongoing issues with Mercer’s well.
Mercer’s well, according to Riverhead resident Lyda Byrne, has been unreliable for many years, but has recently given the community more trouble than usual. In late March, the well’s pump was replaced following an eightday stint where residents had no access to water. Days later, the pump was no longer working.
Approximately 22 houses in Riverhead are serviced by Mercer’s well.
Now, the well is giving residents issues again, and Byrne explained residents are being forced to take advantage of water from family members and friends.
“We are in a situation where we can’t take a shower before work, or after a long shift at work,” explained Byrne during the council meeting. “We have to rely on family members, usually our parents, to travel to their homes to use their showers and bathrooms. Ultimately, we’re disrupting their morning routines as well as our own to do something that we should have no problems with in the first place – it is 2017, basic access to water and sewage is a human necessity.”
Byrne also brought up Mayor Terry Barnes’ involvement in a previous meeting held between residents, Barnes, MHA Pam Parsons, and MP Ken McDonald. Byrne said Barnes attended the meeting for approximately 15 minutes, despite the meeting lasting about an hour. However, during his time there, Byrne commended Barnes for making
sure the community’s issues were brought forth.
The meeting in question, organized by residents of Riverhead, regarded the well situation in their community, where residents hoped to see a permanent solution put in place by government.
Residents also took issue with council’s recent pitch to take
ownership of Harvey Street. Byrne asked how the town could afford to take on such a project, when the idea of a proper fix for Mercer’s well seemed to be something the Town of Harbour Grace could not afford.
During Byrne’s lengthy presentation to council Tuesday night, she noted residents have been forced to purchase a port-a-potty due to lack of proper sewage services. Byrne also noted residents of Harbour Grace are aware of the situation regarding Mercer’s well.
“We the residents of Riverhead serviced by Mercer’s well are tired of being pushed back on the list – we, despite what you may think, are residents of the community as well,” said Byrne in her statement to council. “We are not asking for things like the Canada Day motorcade ride through our community next year, so that our children and grandchildren can see it. No, we are asking for basic human necessities. We are not a pothole issue, we are a third world country issue. We are living in third world country conditions, and that is unacceptable in 2017.”
At the end of Byrne’s presentation, Barnes thanked residents for coming to speak at the meeting, and added he would be contacting MHA Parsons the following day regarding emergency funding so that proper water and sewage can be put in place for the community as soon as possible.
Lyda Byrne of Riverhead made a lengthy presentation regarding Mercer’s well to Harbour Grace council during a recent council meeting.