Badger storm almost caused sewage mess

Last week's power outage in Badger was worrisome and inconvenient, but barely compares to the mess that almost befell the town.

Minutes away from backing up into homes, mayor says

Last week's power outage in Badger was worrisome and inconvenient, but barely compares to the mess that almost befell the town.

An early winter storm damaged dozens of light poles, and the wires they were holding.

The resulting loss of heat, light and water forced the town to declare a state of emergency on Thursday.

With the focus on restoring those essentials, Badger's sewage system — which also needs power to operate — was almost forgotten.

Mayor Mike Patey says the town dodged a bullet.

"We never realized until close to the last minute that our wastewater system had got to capacity," Patey said. "We would've been in big trouble with that. That would've backed up into the homes, and out on the streets through the manhole[s]."

Fortunately, the temporary generator brought in Friday restored power just in time.

"When the power came back on we never had much time before it would've overflowed," Patey said.

Generators held the fort until Badger was re-connected to the main grid Sunday night.

Patey says while the town is no stranger to emergencies, officials continue to learn from each experience.

And he said last week's storm was no exception.

Being proactive

He says while a new electrical hookup and backup generator has been installed at the town's water pumphouse, a similar process is in the works for the wastewater plant.

Work on the latter project will begin this week.

"So, any time this happens, that's gonna run our water system. So if we lose power, at least we'll still have water and our wastewater system."

Meantime, Patey says feedback on how the town handled last week's emergency has, for the most past, been positive.

"We thought we handled the situation very easily," he said. "We felt we done an excellent job. We got water to people, we checked on our seniors in their homes, and dealt with others. If they had heat or were warm, we made sure they knew they could get water.

"The emergency plan really worked."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.