Deja-Vu, Water woes continue in Portage

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Allyson Beauregard

PORTAGE-DU-FORT – Despite last year’s warnings to residents
of the consequences if they run
their taps excessively during cold
weather, the municipality of Portage-du-Fort was recently forced to switch back to their old water plant when the new system was unable to keep up with demand.

Allyson Beauregard

PORTAGE-DU-FORT – Despite last year’s warnings to residents
of the consequences if they run
their taps excessively during cold
weather, the municipality of Portage-du-Fort was recently forced to switch back to their old water plant when the new system was unable to keep up with demand.
“The new plant is able to produce a maximum of 52 gallons per minute, and we were averaging 42 gallons all summer. When the snow hit, people panicked and the usage soared to 80, beyond what the plant could produce,” said Portage Councillor Bob Simpson.
Now that the municipality has been using the old water system, again, it will likely remain in use until spring. “You can’t just flip a switch and go from one system to the other,” repeated Simpson.
The same situation occurred when the cold weather hit last year; the municipality was forced to use the old system until early summer due to technical problems with
the new plant. Consequently, the
municipality was under a boil water
advisory until August due to the delay receiving water sample results. “The old system basically takes river water and mixes it with chlorine. This no longer meets government standards,” explained Simpson, who said he predicts the first sample taken from the old plant this year will put the municipality back under a boil water advisory, until the new system can be used again.
Simpson said the issue was
discussed at January’s council
meeting and council is seriously looking into water meters. “It’s
getting ridiculous. We can’t keep running a town like this. We have been trying to get the message across, but water meters may be the only answer. We are looking into them, and chances are, we will go ahead with it,” he stressed.
Before installing meters, the town must first apply to the government to receive permission.