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Solution to brown water problem to be discussed Monday

Friday, January 31, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

The Sault Ste. Marie PUC Board of Directors will meet Monday afternoon at the utility’s Second Line headquarters to discuss and approve a solution to long-standing problems the Sault has faced with the taste, odour and colour of tap water.

That solution, PUC President and CEO Dominic Parrella told Friday, will in turn be presented to Sault Ste. Marie City Council at its regular meeting Monday evening for discussion. 

Sault residents (especially those in the community’s east end) have suffered through an increased number of unpleasant and frustrating incidents in which discoloured water from built-up sediment in aging water mains has filled their taps, laundry machines, toilets and bathtubs.

Brown tap water is, of course, undrinkable, though the PUC has instructed customers to run their taps until the water appears to be normal and clear.

Continued flushing of toilets will likewise return the water to its normal appearance.

Parrella, in a December 2, 2013 address to City Council, acknowledged the brown water incidents in particular had increased, and, recognizing growing anger among PUC customers, pledged that the utility would present a solution to the problem to Council in January.   

In December, Parrella told the PUC Board and the media there were no less than 150 possible solutions to the vile water problem.

A Committee consisting of PUC staff, City Councillors, Algoma Public Health (APH) officials and members of the public were tasked with narrowing that number of solutions down to one.

Parrella did not reveal details of that solution Friday.

Parrella told at a PUC Board meeting December 11, 2013 that the solution to the brown water problem will take at least two years to completely rectify the situation, or possibly three or four, depending on what solution is decided on.

The brown water incidents, while not completely unheard of, have dramatically increased since the PUC’s switchover to free chlorine in the PUC’s system in October 2011.

The PUC has said unidirectional flushing of water mains by the PUC to rid the water mains of sediment, improper and unauthorized use of fire hydrants and construction may all lead to brown water incidents. 


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
dust2 1/31/2014 9:34:48 PM Report

inb4 flood of ignorant posters complaining about PUC. maybe people should get a proper job instead of complaining about paying pennies for running their taps
speed7 1/31/2014 10:05:12 PM Report

ill flush if i get a break on my bill. \\\\did I hear silence there when i mentioned a break on my bill????? apparently.
Lone24 1/31/2014 10:07:09 PM Report

Maybe you should get a proper job instead of complaining about people complaining about PUC.
dust2 1/31/2014 10:08:23 PM Report

im not the one complaining about losing less than a dollar to run my taps
Gurpy 1/31/2014 10:12:44 PM Report

Do you pay PUC or is it included in your rent? Have you seen the delivery charge on $2.73 worth of water? It is $19.95! Take a look at an actual PUC bill and note all the delivery charges etc and then accuse people of complaining over "pennies" as you put it!
Grumpish 1/31/2014 10:14:57 PM Report

We can only hope that any solutions are better researched than the decision to move to free chlorine, and that the data is accurately presented. No more snow-jobs please. I, for one, would like to see some convincing data that supports the claim that a return to chloramine is not possible, since others have done it.
Sam C 1/31/2014 11:17:20 PM Report

Gurpy... you pay the delivery charge regardless of how much water you use -- it's a flat fee.

The actual cost of your metered usage is just under 50¢ per cubic metre (=1000 litres). Running your tap for 15 minutes would use about 150 litres... which would cost about 8¢.
boilertyme 1/31/2014 11:50:36 PM Report

Work hard ,so hard work hard, 16hr/day work hard
dust2 2/1/2014 2:09:43 AM Report

hard work isn't the amount of time you put in, it's the quality
atoz 2/1/2014 4:07:39 AM Report

Your all talking bills . What if u own a house in the east end. What kind of resale, hey buy my big expensive house , with the brown smelly water. Nice....
Tag33&1/3rd 2/1/2014 8:41:11 AM Report

@Gurpy and Dust2

lol do you guys know eachother? Ever see "War of the Roses?"

--it would be cool if they just reverted back -- I agree! I used to drink that water and enjoyed it!
Gurpy 2/1/2014 2:14:54 PM Report

I do not know "dust" and he does not know me. We just have an awesome time fighting!
War of the roses??? I`m a rose! Dust is NOT! No, I don`t recall seeing that movie.
The rose
Gurpy 2/1/2014 2:55:36 PM Report

How do you figure it`s 8 cents?? Do you and dust hang out together???
Gurpy 2/1/2014 3:06:28 PM Report

Sam C
Effective January !, 2014 PUC rates are as follows:
less than 37mm $21.86 monthly charge
50mm $62.24
75mm $83.76
49.7 cents per cubic metre for the first 15 cubic metres for each one month period.
$1.46 per cubic metre for the next 250 cubic metres for each one month period. Contact the PUC and they`ll send you a pretty blue notice card for FREE!
Verbatim 2/1/2014 3:27:50 PM Report

Here is what i dont get. There are no less 6 different hydro dam several solar farms and a huge wind project as well as 12 trillion gallons of water within 300km radius of the Sault. So my question is this. Why are we paying more for these services and more for delivery then those down south. If someone from the PUC is on here id really like a good answer to it
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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