Town out to solve ‘brown water’ woes

With new reports in some areas—and chronic ones in others—of residents finding brown water coming out of their taps, Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown said the town is working hard to fix several problems.
“On Victoria Avenue and Second Street East, we’ve got leaky valves. Something’s closed improperly,” he noted Tuesday.
“We’ve been moving water in different locations. We’ve been changing valves,” he added. “Once the valves are fixed up, the brown water should go around there.”
Meanwhile, Brown said Nelson Street has been an ongoing problem.
“We think there’s a valve in the closed position, so we want to fix that,” he stressed, adding the town currently is investigating it.
And on Armit, Smith, and Crowe Avenues, there are dead-end loops on old watermains.
“We’re going to ask for an easement along the CN property—scheduled for next year,” said Brown. “We’re going to loop all that so we get water moving.
“When you get a lot of red water, dirty water, it’s because you’re at the end of loop and it’s not moving,” he explained.
Brown also stressed the town has to go on a program where it flushes the watermains more frequently. This would involve using a “pig”—a device with bristles on it shot through the system to scour the watermains.
Then the town has to put an agent in the water to dissolve the resultant iron.
“The flushing program has got to be improved, and the valves are part of that,” he noted. “We were on schedule to change 20 valves, I think we’re going to do 27 or 28.
“Every time we shut down, more valves get busted,” added Brown. “I don’t like it more than anyone else.”
Most of all, Brown advised the public to tell the town if their water has turned brown—and stays that way even after running their cold water taps (as they’re advised to do when the town is carrying out watermain flushing and pumping of hydrants throughout the distribution system, as it has been since August).
“Phone the problem in so we know. If people just live with it, we’ll never fix it and we’ve gotta fix it,” he remarked.
Public Works can be reached at 274-9893.