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Brown water alert. PUC feeling flushed

Saturday, May 31, 2014   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

PUC SERVICES

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Unidirectional flushing program continues
 
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON (31 May 2014) – PUC customers are reminded that the Unidirectional Flushing (UDF) Program continues this week in the east end of the city.
 
Customers are encouraged to visit the PUC website at www.ssmpuc.com for regular updates and to see a map(s) of the flushing areas.
 
The PUC would like to advise customers that during flushing activities there is a strong possibility that customers outside of the immediate flushing areacould also experience discoloured water.

This is due to the fact that any time there is a major change in the rate or direction of flow of water in the distribution system, sediment in the watermains can be disturbed and carried along with the water.

The UDF Program is carried out to remove that sediment from within the city’s watermains and is a recognized industry best practice for improving water quality.

UDF operations will generally occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. during weekdays only.

Again, there is a possibility that during flushing activities customers outside of the immediate flushing area could experience discoloured water.

If you notice your water is discoloured please follow these steps:

  • Turn on a cold-water tap and let the water run for a 15 minutes maximum. It is best to use a bathtub tap as there is no screen to trap any sediment.
  • If the water does not clear up after 15 minutes of flushing, wait 30 minutes and try again. If the water does not clear up after two 15 minute flushing cycles, please call PUC Customer Service at 705-759-6522 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. and 705-759-6555 at all other times.

A plan is underway, including a number of short and long term measures, to resolve the water quality issues.

This is a lengthy process however customers can expect a significant improvement in water quality by the end of the first year including a significant reduction in the number of discoloured water events.

PUC Services apologizes for this inconvenience.

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Comments
21
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Stressed 5/31/2014 8:23:12 PM Report

"Flush the cold water for 15 minutes Maximum" I have always had to flush mine for at least 2 hours. The worse part is, I always drank my tap water...and I don't care how much flushing I do....I will NEVER drink the water again....and that's pretty bad, seeing as I pay for it :-(
Gumby54 5/31/2014 8:34:34 PM Report

It is sad that our once lusted after water quality is now only good to water lawns and wash cars. It may also be safe to bathe and wash clothes with - if you are lucky enough that it isn't brown at the time. The chlorine smell is still evident even though the so called offending Lorna Well has been shut down for 3 weeks. I guess only time will tell if our PUC can make good on their promise to bring our water quality back.
DINOBOY 5/31/2014 8:47:12 PM Report

Here comes all the same drivel...suck it up...drink and be merry...
Sammy1099 5/31/2014 9:04:58 PM Report

@DINOBOY
" Here comes all the same drivel...suck it up...drink and be merry.."

You go right ahead halfwitt. Let me guess you work for the PUC? Your Probably the CEO trolling the comments.

If however you are happy with the status quo, they can put you at the end of the line when the imbeciles actually fix it.
Frio 5/31/2014 9:11:40 PM Report

At least it is not the "brown water" containing bits of toilet paper that flows on down to Garden River when the sewage treatment plant malfunctions or overflows after heavy rains.
Sammy1099 5/31/2014 9:20:13 PM Report

@Frio
"At least it is not the "brown water" containing bits of toilet paper that flows on down to Garden River when the sewage treatment plant malfunctions or overflows after heavy rains. "

What makes you so sure it isn't? What because the PUC says it isn't? Yea like they so obviously know what they are doing. I don't believe anything they say.
wandering 6/1/2014 12:10:46 AM Report

this is awfull...no wonder everyone is sick in the sault
wandering 6/1/2014 12:10:46 AM Report

this is awfull...no wonder everyone is sick in the sault
Honestysucks 6/1/2014 3:23:52 AM Report

just drink beer
rockbanger 6/1/2014 7:27:22 AM Report

PUC

Have messed up one of the best drinking waters in the world.

This is now equivalent to a third world country at best.

Sickening.
Frio 6/1/2014 7:40:22 AM Report

Sammy1099... I'm so sure because I haven't seen the bits of toilet paper in my tap water and it is still meeting drinking water safety standards ot it wouldn't be distributed .."Yea like they so obviously know what they are doing. I don't believe anything they say". Obviously with your broad knowledge on PUC operations and water quality your beliefs are justified.
Sammy1099 6/1/2014 8:37:12 AM Report

@frio

In light of the brown water, the new treatment plant issues, I guess I’m just as qualified as a typical PUC employee.

Who is doing the testing, an independent body or the PUC? I think they also tested the water in Walkerton that was supposedly up to standard by the experts as well. How did that work out, oh wait?
Sammy1099 6/1/2014 8:53:22 AM Report

For all you people, who think people, are idiots that complain, do you think they would be doing anything to fix the issues if no one complained? I’m sure some of you work for the PUC. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if one of you was the CEO. I guess he has a lot of spare time because he doesn’t seem to be doing his job.

I don’t need to work for the PUC to know someone doesn’t know what they are doing, anymore then I need to be a carpenter to recognize a shit carpentry job. The results speak for themselves. You can give all the excuses you want bottom line someone has piss poor planning skills.
Frio 6/1/2014 9:20:17 AM Report

Sammy1099..The ecoli in the water in Walkerton was leaking in from barnyard manure runnoff getting into the water supply.. The 2 deadbeat brothers who where supposed to be monitoring the water where too busy drinking beer to do their job . In what way is that situation of Ecoli contaminated water comparable to sediment that is in the water mains discolouring water here? How many people sick and dead from Ecoli bacteria infection in the Soo after all this time of intermittent discoloured water?
Sammy1099 6/1/2014 9:27:09 AM Report

I’ll spell it out for the mentally challenged. If your job is to deliver clean water the water is either clean or it isn’t. You’ve either done your job successfully or you didn’t (you are good at your job or you aren’t).

If changes to the process in which they treat water can potentially cause issues it would be the CEO’s job to recognize this and take measures to eliminate or mitigate them. Did they even know that these issues were possible before they decided to change the process? If they didn’t then that shows ignorance in their field doesn’t it? I’m allowed to have ignorance in the water treatment process. I’m not being paid six figures to manage the system, he is not, or he shouldn’t be working there.

Now how about the water treatment plant, lets go there shall we. They have been having to skim effluent (PUC’s words not mine) from the new state of the art treatment plant. Why did they get this plant? To address issues of capacity and complaints from downstream residence of untreated waste being dumped in the river. The evidence would indicate that after years of planning and millions of dollars for the plant none of these issues were resolved. Again a goal was not met, in other words someone didn’t do their job correctly. So you will have to forgive my pessimism when I hear one of the PUC’s talking heads telling us to be calm ,they have everything under control. The track record indicates that they don’t.
IB-fine 6/1/2014 9:45:41 AM Report

What happened to dropping off a letter to the affected areas?
Oh yeah, last time it was just suppose to be in Manitou Park and 5 km away we had brown water.
Do they think everyone is online and checks this site/their site everyday? What about a load of seniors in my area? Low income people that don't have internet? How are they suppose to know this is happening ...again???

I've previously said they should do an auto-calling system to call all in the immediate area as well as those in outlying neighbourhood that it could affect. That way they are doing their due diligence of letting their customers know!

Are they going to replace my year old stained toilet? Probably not! What would be the point of replacing it right now when this mess is suppose to go on for another couple of years??

OK what store has water on sale?
Matti 6/1/2014 11:00:23 AM Report

my water if fine…a bit of chlorine smell every now and then but otherwise….crystal clear and cold!! Give it up people, the same PUC bashing on these blogs has run it's course……TIRESOME AND BORING……..The PUC is diligently working to improve and alter the current water concerns….It will take a bit of time but they will get there….only certain areas of the city have the major issues. Steps have been taken and are continuing in order to rectify the quality of the water…….bashing and arguing on this blog aren't going to assist in change……some of you, make yourselves look silly and uneducated.
Frio 6/1/2014 2:53:20 PM Report

Some of the mentally challenged want go off frothing at the mouth trying to compare Walkerton where E-coli from farm manure runoff entering the town water system and was not properly chlorine treated and tested due to the 2 drunken, incompetent Koebel brothers resulting in 7 deaths and 2300 suffering illness, with our localized "brown water" problem which has some east end households occasionally having discoloured water from stirred up sediment in the pipes where nobody died or suffered illness.
It makes as much sense as comparing a little chocolate stain to a big load of diarrhea in their shorts, but they never give it up because they love to have something more to bitch about. . The PUC has been working on the problem and are communicating better with those affected and trying to get out proactive notices whenever possible discoloured water will occur. Everybody is aware, the overall city water supply is safe and a limited number of households in the east end are affected with discoloured water occasionally,and problem is being worked on.
Sammy1099 6/1/2014 3:08:00 PM Report

frio

To answer your question. Walkerton brought to light quite a few municipalities had inadequate water quality. You don't remember all the municipalities screaming they didn't have the coin for the upgrades to bring their plants up to standard? You also forgot all the boil water advisories after the incident.

So whats your point? What, don't complain until someone drops dead. All those municipal water experts all thought their water was fine too. I guess it wasn't, now was it. I suppose you know better then the provincial labs that ran the test though, don't you.

I'm not saying the water can kill you. I don't really know what is cominig out of tap frankly. I am saying they haven't left me with to much confidence in thier abilities.

Walkerton had an excuse nepotism and a bunch of drunks. What is all the other municipalities excuses.
Frio 6/1/2014 3:39:27 PM Report

Walkerton was in 2000, shortly after Harris dumped water quality testing and self regulation onto the municipalities to save a few dollars on the provincial labs..Many places where totally unprepared or had the financial resources to make sure their water was safe. Walkerton brought out how the system failed. A $20 million dollar enquiry was held. Results, inadequate training, inadequate funding, poor management oversight, environment hazards not taken into account, multi protection needed for wells . The Soo's brown water problem is out in the open the city council, the residents, the PUC all know about it. The PUC is working on it, so what more do you expect?
Sammy1099 6/2/2014 7:12:02 AM Report

Frio

You have essentially made my points for me. With this

“Results, inadequate training, inadequate funding, poor management oversight, environment hazards not taken into account, multi protection needed for wells.”

The PUC is not underfunded, they are also a monopoly. There is no excuse for them to have inadequately trained employees on the payroll that is of course unless nepotism/cronyism also exists in the PUC.

“The Soo's brown water problem is out in the open the city council, the residents, the PUC all know about it.”

Of course it’s well known, how in the hell would they hide brown water coming out of the taps?

The brown water is just one thing; I could tolerate that, no one is perfect. The treatment plant that either can’t treat the required volumes, or the employees can’t figure out how to operate it is much worse, considering the time and money wasted. This would indicate to me some changes need to be made at the PUC.

Boo-Hoo the CEO’s feelings are getting hurt. The CEO is well compensated anytime he feels the compensation is insufficient he is free to quit. Actually please do.

“The PUC is working on it, so what more do you expect?”

I expect it to never have happened in the first place. That comes back to my other point “Piss poor planning”.

A good utility is one you don’t know exists.
Comments
21
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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