Wells Mayor Ed Coleman says progress has been made but a no drink order remains in place for residents.
“Yes we have. We have flushed a lot of the lines, the main lines, and other subsidiary lines and that’s the best way to get rid of lead in the water system is to do some filtering to flush your lines. After that we have to move throughout the whole system, working with households, because they need to flush their lines as well.”
Coleman says residents are advised to run their water for 15 minutes every day.
He says the District is provided bottled water.
We asked him when the order might be lifted.
“I am hoping we can definitively present something next week, but it will definitely be qualified. It will be that filtering needs to go on people’s taps because the lead levels can change over time, and it’s just that type of system where you’ve got older pipes that you have to be wary of it all the time.”
Coleman says even when the order is lifted, residents are still advised to have a filter on their taps to take the lead out.
He says the longer term solution is to get a new water source.
“We have a main well and it’s not the greatest water, but we do know that there are aquifers that have incredible water. So that’s the commitment working with Osisko Development and the province where we’re going to drill down farther and find a pure aquifer. We know they’re down there.”
Coleman estimates that a new system is going to cost in the area of 5 to 6 million dollars.
“I’s going to involve a proper plant for it, and it’s also going to involve replacing some of the underground piping that may have lead evidence in it. Part of that 5 to 6 million will be to look at the whole system and get rid of any pipes that have lead.”
Coleman says that will require more funding from senior governments and potentially industry.
He says they already have half a million dollars allocated through a partnership with the province and Osisko Development to find a new water source.