The village of St. Gregor is bringing in an engineer to find a solution to the brown water coming out of some residents’ taps.
“He’s going to see if there’s something we can do to alleviate the problem right away, or if there’s something that we have to do on the lines, or whether it be a reverse osmosis or what,” mayor Doug Hogemann told Bolt FM.
“So we won’t know anything more until after we’ve met with this fellow and had him check out our system for us.”
The visit comes after resident Maria Classen shared a video of the brown water coming out of her bathtub tap last Wednesday.
“It’s really inconvenient, especially when you have a young family. I have a two-year-old and an eight-month-old - I can’t clean bottles for her, I can’t do the dishes, I can’t clean vegetables for my son, I can’t give them a bath. It’s very frustrating,” she said.
The problem comes up mostly in the summer after heavy rain, a power outage or other disruption to the pump station, she said. It also happens when she uses a significant amount of water, such as watering the lawn or doing laundry.
The water has cleared for some since last week, but at least one household still had brown water Sunday night, she said.
She’s been told the brown sediment is from the village’s deteriorating pipes, she said. She has voiced her concerns to council and wants the village to apply for grants to fix them, she said.
Hogemann said the village flushes the lines a couple times per year to alleviate the problem but that doesn’t always work.
His contact at SaskWater has suggested the sediment could be caused by water treatment chemicals that aren’t being properly dispensed or a fluctuation in water pressure, he said.
The pipes were installed in the early 1960s and an engineering assessment five years ago found the cost to replace them was $5.4 million - a tall order for a village of about 100 people, he said.
“We can’t afford $5.4 million. So there's no way we can even think of doing something like that without getting some kind of funding through the provincial and federal government. And small towns are a lot of times overlooked. There’s grant money there - $10,000 here, $10,000 there - but that’s not going to re-do our system. Not a chance.”
The engineer is scheduled to meet with the village’s water plant staff Tuesday morning. The village will present his findings at a public meeting Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Hogemann said.