Water woes in Torbay: Homeowner's well runs dry, blames nearby construction

Heavy rain in the past two days has meant water build-up on many parts of the Avalon Peninsula, however for one Torbay homeowner, she wants water to come onto her property.
A Torbay resident says she can't get water from her well because of ongoing construction 1:44

Heavy rain in the past two days has meant water build-up on many parts of the Avalon Peninsula, however for one Torbay homeowner, she wants water to come onto her property.

Trina Roberts said her artesian well ran dry two weeks ago, when construction began on the road outside her home on Indian Meal Line.

Since then, Roberts said her life has been flipped upside down, and now she's seeking answers.

"It was a culvert system put in about 10 feet away from my house, and a blasting in the hill about 15 to 20 feet away from my house," said Roberts. 

"And I got a dry well still, dryer now than it was two weeks ago actually — and for nine days I've been bringing water from the pond in buckets." 
Torbay resident Trina Roberts says in addition to a dry artesian well, she's also lost her downstairs tenants. (CBC)

Roberts told CBC on Wednesday that she's been off work due to an injury, and has found the past two weeks difficult.

"My daughter has been helping to bring water [to] flush toilets, hot water on the stove to do dishes — and I just recently had two tenants move out because of the situation."

Torbay Mayor Ralph Tapper said a couple of things have happened.

"There's development down behind the houses in a subdivision — but more recently, there has been construction on Indian Meal Line itself, a provincial road," he said. 

The Department of Transportation and Works installed the new culvert system, but will not take responsibility for the issue. 

Roberts said a manager at the Department of Environment and Conservation suggested that she put about a thousand gallons of water into her well, to bring back the flow into the system.

That advice ended up being costly and ineffective, as the pump burned out. The replacement cost is $1,000. 

Roberts said the Town of Torbay then stepped in, and delivered large water containers to her home, a cost that's being incurred by the town. 

Two more residents in the area have also lost water, and since the wells are private, there are also questions about who will inevitably foot the bill.

"We just can't continue it, and we've got to review it because it is the ultimate responsibility of the property owner," said Tapper.

Meanwhile, Roberts wants someone to come forward and take responsibility.

"Drill me a new well, or put a new well back in place. I have to have water to live," she said.

Roberts said she hopes to get an answer before the tubs on her front lawn freeze over. 

Trina Roberts says construction near her home is the cause of her dry artesian well. (CBC)

With files from Krissy Holmes


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