Drink­ing wa­ter project for Fogo Is­land set for new ar­eas

Sel­dom and cen­tre of is­land slot­ted for well devel­op­ment

The Central Voice - - Front Page - BY KYLE GREENHAM

After two un­suc­cess­ful at­tempts at well drilling, the Town of Fogo Is­land is mov­ing a drink­ing wa­ter project in a new di­rec­tion.

Since 2015 the town has been work­ing to bring clean and chlo­ri­nated wa­ter fa­cil­i­ties to Is­land Har­bour and Stag Har­bour. Both of these ar­eas, and Is­land Har­bour’s neigh­bour­ing com­mu­nity Deep Bay, have no wa­ter and sewage sys­tem out­side of per­sonal arte­sian wells and sep­tic tanks.

The pro­posed fa­cil­ity would pro­vide a lo­ca­tion for res­i­dents to fill con­tain­ers of drink­able wa­ter free of charge. But Fogo Is­land Mayor Wayne Collins says the town has had to re­turn to square one with the project and is now work­ing to have these fa­cil­i­ties in Sel­dom and the cen­tre of Fogo Is­land.

“The Sel­dom fa­cil­ity will be con­nected to the town wa­ter line in Sel­dom and the sec­ond one we will drill an­other deep well around the cen­tre of the is­land, close to the hospi­tal,” said Collins. “We ex­pect to get bet­ter re­sults than we did pre­vi­ously.”

Ini­tially, well-drilling ef­forts were made in Is­land Har­bour and Stag Har­bour with costs shared be­tween the provin­cial gov­ern­ment and the town. Nei­ther of these yielded enough wa­ter to sup­ply a fa­cil­ity, and the town again at­tempted to drill a well in each com­mu­nity last year.

This sec­ond ef­fort, funded solely by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, yielded the same re­sults as the ini­tial drilling.

“We made the de­ci­sion based on sur­round­ing res­i­dents and the wa­ter that was avail­able to them in their per­sonal wells,” Collins said. “But when you look at the wa­ter needed for one of those homes com­pared with the wa­ter needed for one of those drink­ing units – it’s far less and we did not yield the re­quired amounts.

“With this sec­ond at­tempt, each time we drilled one of those deep wells, it cost the town around $25,000.”

Mov­ing for­ward

The town is work­ing to have the wa­ter fa­cil­i­ties for Sel­dom and Fogo Is­land Cen­tral ap­proved by the Depart­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment. They will then award a con­tract for the in­stal­la­tions.

The pro­jected fa­cil­ity in Fogo Is­land Cen­tral is cur­rently owned by Crown Lands, and Collins says the town has sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion for this area.

Now near­ing three years since the project be­gan and with the town yet to achieve the re­sults they’ve hoped for, Collins says coun­cil is adamant about get­ting these fa­cil­i­ties com­pleted as quickly as pos­si­ble.

“It’s been so many dif­fer­ent things that have caused prob­lems for us, some of them beyond our con­trol,” said Collins. “When we don’t turn up suf­fi­cient amounts of wa­ter we start from scratch again.”

Also, Collins says a wa­ter and sewer project for the Stag Har­bour area is on their pri­or­ity list for cap­i­tal works fund­ing, and it will be re­quested in the up­com­ing round of ap­pli­ca­tions to the provin­cial gov­ern­ment.

Be­cause of the ag­ing pop­u­la­tion and the roughly 11-kilo­me­tre dis­tance be­tween Stag Har­bour and Sel­dom, Han­cock would pre­fer to see this wa­ter and sewer project go ahead.

“If you got some­one 60 or 75 years old, you don’t want to have to travel to Sel­dom when it’s stormy to get wa­ter,” he said. “Your wa­ter should be drink­able from your tap, there’s no need of it.”


Since 2015 the Town of Fogo Is­land has been work­ing to bring clean and drink­able wa­ter fa­cil­i­ties to the com­mu­ni­ties of Stag Har­bour and Is­land Har­bour. The com­mu­ni­ties cur­rently use per­sonal arte­sian wells for a wa­ter sup­ply. The town is now look­ing to es­tab­lish these drink­ing wa­ter fa­cil­i­ties in Sel­dom and Fogo Is­land cen­tral, after two at­tempts to drill deep wells in these com­mu­ni­ties did not yield suf­fi­cient lev­els of wa­ter to sup­port these fa­cil­i­ties.

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