‘A huge con­cern for the town res­i­dents’

Al­ter­na­tive route puts ef­flu­ent pipe in Pic­tou’s wa­ter­shed

The News (New Glasgow) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SUEANN MUSICK

North­ern Pulp’s al­ter­na­tive route for its out­fall could be placed over an area of land that sup­plies wa­ter for Pic­tou, say town of­fi­cials.

Pic­tou Mayor Jim Ryan con­firmed Oct. 23 that the mill’s new plans to place an ef­flu­ent pipe along­side the cause­way – run­ning to­ward Pic­tou and con­tin­u­ing ad­ja­cent to the road to the ferry ter­mi­nal and out into the Northum­ber­land Strait – runs through the town’s wa­ter­shed.

“We def­i­nitely need to know more about this,” he said. “Any time any­thing goes through a well­field and causes a risk, we should be con­cerned.”

Pub­lic Works Su­per­in­ten­dent Jim Chisholm said there have been stud­ies done on the wa­ter­shed over the years, es­pe­cially in the sand and gravel flows. All in­di­ca­tions are that the flow and the sur­face wa­ter in that area run to­ward Cari­bou Har­bour, he said, which would make it un­likely it would en­ter the town’s wells used for drink­ing wa­ter.

But he be­lieves the risks should be dis­cussed as they would be for any landowner or com­pany that wanted to do work in a wa­ter­shed area.

“We have at­tempted to do a lot to pro­tect the wa­ter­shed but there are no (mu­nic­i­pal) rules and reg­u­la­tions,” Chisholm said. “We do ex­pect the landown­ers to be re­spon­si­ble in what they want to do.”

There are reg­u­la­tions in the Town of Pic­tou re­gard­ing wells that fall within town bound­aries, but be­cause this sec­tion of the wa­ter­shed runs along­side the Trans Canada High­way in ru­ral Pic­tou County, it falls un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments.

Pa­per Ex­cel­lence’s di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Kathy Cloutier, could not com­ment Oct. 23 on whether or not the al­ter­na­tive route would go through the wa­ter­shed area.

“We’re still in the very early dis­cov­ery stage of this. That’s all part of what will be delved into in a far greater way,” she said.

North­ern Pulp pre­sented its lat­est pro­posed route for the pipe to stake­hold­ers – in­clud­ing the as­so­ci­a­tions rep­re­sent­ing fish­er­men from Nova Sco­tia, New Brunswick and Prince Ed­ward Is­land, and the Pic­tou Land­ing First Na­tion – on Oct. 22.

“We have at­tempted to do a lot to pro­tect the wa­ter­shed but there are no (mu­nic­i­pal) rules and reg­u­la­tions … We do ex­pect the landown­ers to be re­spon­si­ble in what they want to do.” Jim Chisholm, pub­lic works su­per­in­ten­dent, Pic­tou

No of­fi­cial no­tice

Ryan said there are wells out­side of town lim­its which are used as wa­ter sup­ply for Pic­tou and the town is al­ways con­cerned when there is any kind of build­ing con­struc­tion or road­work tak­ing place near any of its well­fields.

He added he ex­pects dis­cus­sions will take place be­tween the town and the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment in the fu­ture.

“A po­ten­tial break in a pipe is a huge con­cern for the town res­i­dents and lo­cal res­i­dents who have their own wells in the area. We have not been in­formed by any­one at this point and have only heard about it through the grapevine and me­dia.”

The Town of Pic­tou re­cently opened its own $5.8 wa­ter treat­ment plant, which in­cludes a state-of-the-art sys­tem that will elim­i­nate the town’s on­go­ing brown wa­ter is­sues, caused by high lev­els of mag­ne­sium and iron, for many years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.