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Band-aid solution for chlorine issue has taken too long to heal, Truro resident says

Truro resident Jack Ethier checks out a temporary fix the town has used on a fire hydrant to keep chlorine at the proper levels. He calls the effort a band-aid solution and feels it has taken too long to repair.
Truro resident Jack Ethier checks out a temporary fix the town has used on a fire hydrant to keep chlorine at the proper levels. He calls the effort a band-aid solution and feels it has taken too long to repair.

TRURO, N.S. – It’s a situation Jack Ethier just can’t comprehend.

He looks out across the street from his home every day at the hose attached to a nearby fire hydrant and wonders just how much municipal water is running down the drain.

“It runs a steady stream into the sewer. And people tell me here it’s been doing that for three years,” said Ethier, who moved to his Waller Drive residence from Ontario almost a year ago.

“I think it’s a waste of water and time and everything else. The amount of money they waste to pump that water here to run down a sewer,” he said. “They’re wasting I would say millions of gallons of water. It runs 24/7.”

Ethier said he spoke to an engineer at the Town of Truro but felt the response he received wasn’t satisfactory.

Senior engineer Chuck Roberts agreed the water has been running fairly steady for the past several years although there are periods, especially during colder months when the flow is shut off periodically, he said.

The hydrant is located on Alana Drive, at the end of Waller Drive, and is a dead-end street with a dead-ended water main. The reason the hose is attached to the hydrant, he said, is there is not enough of a population to generate sufficient flow to maintain proper chlorine levels.

“They’re not using enough to turn it over in that location,” Roberts said. “So we bleed the water off to keep chlorine levels up.”

The town plans to install an automatic flusher in the hydrant, which would be buried underground and connected to the sewer line to flush the water line automatically.

“So it will do the same thing but it wouldn’t be running steady.”

The cost of the part is upwards of several thousand dollars plus installation. But Roberts said there are a few different manufacturers and staff are checking with other municipalities that have installed the flushers to investigate the best options.

“Some products are better than others and they’ve got that validation. We’re just taking that information so that when we put a tender out for a piece of equipment we can highlight what we’re looking for.”

Ethier, however, doesn’t accept that explanation.

“If you’re working on it I think it should take a little less than three years,” he said. “I can see a few months or something. But if you have to order a part, order a part and put it on.”

 

hsullivan@trurodaily.com

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