Less than two years after switching Saint John's west side to a new drinking water system, the city is now diverting many of those same neighbourhoods to a new water source. The areas affected include Saint John's lower west side, Milford, Randolph, Fundy Heights, Duck Cove and Sand Cove. They are to begin receiving surface water from the Loch Lomond Treatment plant on the city's east side by the end of the year. At the same time the city has cancelled its contract with the engineering firm that was instrumental in the creation of the west side well field water system and hired a law firm to pursue the company, BGC Engineering, for costs.
A new $40 thousand report concludes scaly material that built up over decades in the water pipes of west Saint John homes was weakened by a change in the water source, which eventually caused leaks. The report follows over 200 complaints of leaking pipes and a series of angry public meetings that concluded in an ongoing class action lawsuit.
For well over a year, Rob and Connie Crow have struggled to keep their failing water well from quitting altogether. First the water softener stopped working. They discovered the water coming from the well carried a gritty substance that left an oily film on their hands. Rob shrugs when asked what it is. "I can guarantee you it's not good for you," he said.