2018-10-03

Water distribution program approved for Municipality of Chester

by Charles Mandel

It appears drought conditions are impacting the Chester area.

The council for the Municipality of Chester (MOC) is introducing a district-wide water distribution program to aid homes in the area that are experiencing a shortage of clean water.

Council approved the program at its September 27 meeting.

The program provides four litres of bottled water per person per day up to a maximum of four, four litre jugs per day.

Similar to 2016, the program will be coupon-based with coupons available to MOC residents at these locations and times:

• The Municipal Office, 151 King Street in Chester, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,

Monday to Friday, excluding Monday October 8(Thanksgiving Day).

• The Municipal Office, 151 King Street in Chester, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Monday

October 1.

• The Municipal Office, 151 King Street in Chester, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m, Tuesday,

October 9.

• New Ross Family Resource Centre from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, October

2, 2018 and Tuesday, October 9.

Coupons are good for a one-week period (Monday to Sunday), and will expire each Sunday for as long as the program is in place. The Municipality will assess the situation again on October 11, 2018 to determine if the program will or will not continue.

After expiration, new coupons can be picked up daily, weekly, or as needed.

Coupons can be exchanged at select retailers within the Municipality for one, four litre jug of water (no substitutes).

The municipality is urging only those residents who are in need to access this program so as to reserve supplies for those with little or no water.

Selected retailers are: Independent Grocers in Chester and Hubbards (who will provide Presidents Choice brand), Chester Foodland (who will provide Big 8 brand), and Chester Basin Petro-Canada (who will also provide Big 8 brand).

Residents experiencing mobility or communication issues, should call the Municipal Office at 902-275-3554 to make coupon delivery arrangements or to express their permission to have a neighbour or family member collect their coupons on their

behalf.

In 2017, a report on Chester's groundwater supply said shortages were limiting the potential for further development in the village.

The report from CBCL Limited said: "The introduction of central water would substantially improve the consistency, quality, and access to water for many residents of the Village, with improved monitoring and source water protection."

The question is does the village have the potential to expand and Warden Allen Webber said council needs to know if there is a willingness in the community to grow.

CBCL also conducted a homeowner survey and found that 23 per cent of those who had wells, or 73 out of 317 respondents, said they had a shortage during the 2016 drought - 10 of these homes had drilled wells and 63 had dug wells or cisterns.

About 24 per cent said they required additional water and 18 respondents said their primary source for water was trucked in.

Existing climate models suggest the rate and frequency of extreme weather events is increasing in Nova Scotia, the report said, meaning droughts, like the one experienced last year, will likely be repeated.

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