The Town of Steady Brook thought that putting in a new artesian well system would solve its water woes, but that hasn’t been the case as the town continues to deal with issues with its water supply.
Last week, while the town was flushing its water lines there was a surge in water pressure that impacted the supply of water.
“Nobody is exactly sure what went wrong with that,” said Mayor Donna Thistle.
“The action triggered something. We are not yet sure what it was.”
She said there have been reports from people who said their water tanks were damaged when the surge occurred.
The town has a development regulation that requires all houses be equipped with a pressure-reducing valve at the point where water enters the house. The valve is meant to provide protection in the event of a pressure surge.
“We do not yet know if the people affected did or did not have pressure-reducing valves,” she said, adding the investigation is in the hands of individuals’ insurance companies.
Thistle said the town’s water issue is a complicated one.
The artesian well system was designed so that water for the wells goes into a holding tank. When there is not enough water in the holding tank the old surface water system cuts in.
At any given time, the water in the town’s lines could be a combination of the two supplies.
“Sometimes we’re almost 100 per cent on surface water and sometimes we’re almost 100 per cent on well water.”
Thistle said it’s been a two-year struggle to get to 100 per cent well water.
“Because it appears the demand in Steady Brook outreaches the supply.”
It’s a problem for which the council is doing its best to actively find a solution, she said.
“But the solutions are all big, and complicated and expensive.”
She said each possible fix has to be taken one at a time and measured after they are executed to see if it worked or if they need to go to the next one.
The town was in the process of completing one of those fixes — lowering the pumps in the artesian wells — when the issue with the pressure surge occurred.
The town had to be on a boil order while that work was done and decided to time the flushing of the system with that.
“Because once you do it you’re going on a boil order, most likely.”
The town is now undertaking a full-on investigation into how its water system is working, from the installation of the well system, how the new system relates to the old and if there is anything that can be done to prevent issues in the future.