Posted: Jul 13, 2009, 11:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bankview, Calgary
Ante up for water costs, resident urges HRM
Originally Posted by pnightingale
I've noticed driving through the detour on Giles Rd. that there are signs up saying things like "we're losing our well water" and "don't grow at our expense" and "support water service for Giles".
Does anyone know what this is about? I assume this has something to do with the construction, and some impact that it is having on their water, but I'm very curious what the signs are about.
Giles Drive man says blasting ruined local wells
By HEATHER AMOS
Mon. Jul 13 - 4:46 AM
Ed Giles wants to see HRM councillors drink the water that comes out of his taps.
According to Mr. Giles, his well water sometimes dries up, it has three times the acceptable levels of iron, it smells, it leaves a residue on the bathtub and his laundry, and sometimes mud and dirt spew out of his taps.
His family has lived on Giles Drive for six generations and were happy with the well water until one year ago. Now he purchases bottled water for drinking and washing vegetables.
Mr. Giles thinks blasting for developments in the Bedford area damaged his well.
"I’d like them to have us hooked up to city water and I’d like the city and (the developers) . . . to foot the bill for it."
Tim Outhit, councillor for the Bedford area, explained this isn’t a simple process; legislation has to change, expense has to be considered and usually the residents have to contribute some funds.
"The normal procedure would be 18 months to two years," said Mr. Outhit. "I am trying to get this done in three months and at no cost to them."
Mr. Outhit is trying to get city water extended to Giles Drive, which is currently outside the water service boundary.
He will be discussing the Giles Drive water situation with council on Aug. 4, when council resumes. He is having a report prepared for the meeting.
"I believe the city has an obligation to help these people have good water," said Mr. Outhit. "There’s no guarantee my council colleagues will agree with me."
Mr. Giles is un happy about how long it is taking to make a decision.
"They tell us it’s going to be brought up at a meeting at council in a week and a week passes and we don’t hear. We make the call — ‘Oh it’s not going to be for another three weeks’ — and then it’s not going to be for a month and that’s the situation right now," he said.
Mr. Outhit said there are two possible outcomes: the wells will be re-drilled or the water will be extended to the neighbourhood. His report will compare the two options and consider many factors, for example, the residents use septic tanks.
Council will also have to consider the expense of the project, which Mr. Outhit couldn’t reveal, but said it could easily be $200,000-$300,000.
Typically, the city pays to extend the water to the neighbourhood and the community pays to bring the water to each home.
"I’m on limited income, disability," said Mr. Giles.
"Everyone on this street pretty much has medical concerns and $10,000 for a hookup isn’t feasible."
Since Mr. Giles had a working well up until a year ago, he doesn’t think he should be responsible for funding the waterline extension.
West Bedford Holdings Ltd., a company working on the Parks of West Bedford development, located between Kearney Lake Road and the Hammonds Plains Road, has been communicating with Coun. Outhit about extending the water to Giles Drive.
"As the work gets done along the Hammonds Plains Road it might provide an opportunity to look at providing water service to that little isolated area," said Richard Miller, president of West Bedford Holdings.
Mr. Miller said his company has been in the development business for 50 years and will provide some funding for the project.
He said the company is involved because it is the right thing to do.
"No one has brought to my attention that the development . . . is a direct contributor to any problem."
Mr. Outhit explained that before a developer is given approval for a project, a pre-blast inspection is done. Giles Drive is located outside where the pre-blast inspection was done for developments in the Bedford area.
"We cannot guarantee that we caused the problem; there’s circumstantial evidence that indicates that the development caused the problem, but there’s no scientific test," said Mr. Outhit.
"I’m saying that we probably contributed to it, the developers are saying, ‘Well, we’re probably contributing, let’s try and do the right thing.’ "
Its not supposed to be built for another 25 years unless insane growth occurs in the area.
I like the idea of a highway out there but I also question the safety of HPR even without the traffic. Even if the highway is built HPR will be very dangerous without repairs.