Residents fed up as boil water advisory continues due to dangerous bacteria in Ormstown

by Amanda Jelowicki, originally posted on January 05, 2017


Residents in Ormstown have been under a boil water advisory for three months now, and the ban will likely continue until the spring.

On Oct. 3, 2016, water samples detected the presence of coliphage, a potentially dangerous bacteria.

“If you don’t boil it, it’s not recommended,” said town general manager Philip Toone.

“It’s a public health issue and there is a risk you could be infected.”

The town initially couldn’t find the source of the problem, despite modifications made to the well installations and the cleaning of water lines.

Since then, engineers have recommended installing a new water chlorination system.

Town officials explained the whole process will likely take about two months, so the advisory should be lifted by the spring.

“If we are going to do it,  let’s do it right. I want public safety to be number one,” Toone told Global News.

“I want people at the end of the day to turn on their tap and say ‘I have confidence in that water.’ I don’t want them to have doubt that we didn’t do a good job.”

Nevertheless, residents have grown frustrated with the whole process.

Chantal Robichaud and David Pilon care for Pilon’s elderly mother and live with three children.

They pointed out it’s impractical to boil water for so many people in one house, so they’ve been buying bottled water, which gets expensive.

“It’s a minimum of $25 per week. So, in the past three months that’s $300,” said Robichaud.

“I think everyone is fed up having to boil water or buy water. All you see is people buying carts full of water. It’s costing the town a fortune and we are still paying water tax for water we can’t drink.”

Locals also criticize the town for spending a few million dollars building a new town hall, while they insist councillors have dragged their feet on the water issue.

“I think people are pretty upset,” said Robichaud.

“They would rather have drinking water than a town hall, especially when you go and pay your taxes.”

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