New Brunswick

N.B. ocean-front homes being flooded with salt

Several families living along the Gulf of St. Lawrence shoreline in northern New Brunswick want their homes moved because of salt-water contamination in their wells.

Several families living along the Gulf of St. Lawrence shoreline in northern New Brunswick want their homes moved because of salt-water contamination in their wells.

About 30 homes in thevillage of LeGoulet, near Shippagan,are threatened by rising sea waterduring large storms several times a year.

Jean-Daniel Haché lives 180 metres from the shore in Le Goulet, and his house is almost a metre below sea level.

"In 2000 during a storm, I had to leave my house at 3:30 in the morning because there was a foot of water over the road," he said in French.

Every year, Haché and 30 other families watch the water creep in. Hesays the situation is becoming downright dangerous.

"The drinking water gets full of salt, and the pipes and taps rust every time it happens," he said. "I don't drink the tap water; I use bottled water. That way I'm sure I'm getting good water."

Le Goulet Mayor Denis Roussel says pounding storms have eroded the sand dunes that once stopped sea water from coming on shore, and nowthe waves come right around the houses,contaminating the wellscontaining drinking water.

Roussel says a study by the Université de Moncton offers three solutions; build a protective wall, put the houses on pillars or move them altogether.

The mayor says relocating is best because it's the only way to solve the drinking-water problem, and he hopes the provincial government will help cover the cost.

"It's gotten worse over [the]last 10 years," hesaid."And our sand dunes are fragile, with each storm they deteriorate. Now there's no dunes to protect people on the coast."

Residents and scientists will meet Dec. 11 to discuss a solution.

now