‘Not much different’ in 2020 water report

Council discusses flow rates, sodium levels, system losses, septic inspections

GUELPH-ERAMOSA – Public works director Harry Niemi discussed the annual water and wastewater division report at the township council meeting on March 22.

The report looks at the drinking water systems over the course of 2020.

“There’s not much different in this year’s report,” said Niemi.

He noted that there was a significant watermain break on Dec. 23/24 in Rockwood.

The report also highlighted monthly breakdowns of water flow rates in the Rockwood and Hamilton Drive Wells.

Councillor Corey Woods asked about higher sodium levels mentioned in the report, possibly caused by saltwater pools.

“At some point are we going to have to start notifying residents?” asked Woods.

Niemi said there are notices posted to inform the public, but, “It’s no more of a concern today … we are doing what we are legislated to do.”

There was discussion about where the public is discharging pool water, and Woods asked if the sewer system is a suitable location.

“That’s really kind of a double-edged sword,” said Niemi, who did provide a definitive answer.

Councillor Mark Bouwmeester asked about water production versus consumption, as there has been a loss of eight per cent in the Rockwood system, according to the report.

Neimi said that loss was  “largely (due to) the break” in December.

Hamilton Drive reported 9% water loss, down by 21% from what it was in 2019, with the drop largely attributed to the repair of a long leak.

The highest consumer of water in 2020 was the Rockmosa Park soccer field.

Inspection backlog

Risk management official Kyle Davis mentioned that due to COVID-19 there is a backlog in septic inspections, which will now start in the summer.

Bouwmeester asked Neimi if he is “confident that you’re not going to burn out,” referring to Niemi’s workload.

Niemi said there are possible plans to have the current manager do more administrative work, “to kind of shoulder some of the load off of myself.”

“If anything changes I’m sure you’d let us know,” said Bouwmeester.