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'No quick fix' for Riverhead water crisis, says mayor

Council and engineers seeking solution to water crisis

Riverhead Mayor Sheila Lee

Riverhead Mayor Sheila Lee says a long term solution will have to wait while the town looks for leaks in its water pipes. (CBC)

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Engineers and the Riverhead town council met Tuesday afternoon to try and resolve an ongoing water crisis.

"It's not going to be a quick fix," said Riverhead mayor Sheila Lee.

Lee declared a state of emergency in the St. Mary's Bay community on May 15 after parts of the town went four days with no water.

She said there are two major problems — the pump which pumps water up Coot's Hill needs to be relocated, and a major leak (or leaks) has been draining the reservoir.  

"We're going to continually try and isolate parts of our system to try and determine where possible leaks are," said Lee. But it is not known how long this process will take.

Shortage of shut off valves

Lee said the town's water system does not have very many shut off valves, so that makes it difficult to do the detective work.  The town has asked for money to install more valves.

Riverhead map newfoundland avalon

The community declared a state of emergency on May 15 because of a lack of water. (Google Maps)

Lee said that both the Minister of Municipal Affairs Eddie Joyce and local MHA Sherry Gambin-Walsh have been extremely helpful doing the ordeal.

She said that the entire town is without water while engineers work on the problem, but that water should be back soon.

"We're not going to stop… until we have a proper solution to this problem."

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