Nfld. & Labrador

Riverhead seeks long-term fix for water woes

The mayor of Riverhead in St. Mary's Bay says his community will remain in a state of emergency until every house in the town has water.

Water problems

10 years ago
Duration 1:54
Riverhead's mayor insists on long-term solution for water supply, reports Mark Quinn

The mayor of Riverhead in St. Mary's Bay says his town will remain in a state of emergency until every house has water.

But Colin Corcoran says that may require more than a quick fix.

Corcoran said the town's water system has been breaking down for years. He said there's an excess supply but, for some reason, there's been a problem getting it to every house since last week.

"Right now we believe there are several leaks in the community, just because we noticed how the water reacted and how the pressure reacted when we turned on and off the valves," said the mayor.

"There may also be an issue with how the pumps are set up, how the reservoirs are set up."

Elsie Corcoran says she's fed up with problems with the Riverhead water supply. (CBC)

About 200 people live in Riverhead. One of them, Elsie Corcoran, said she's been fed up with the water problems for years.

"Oh my gosh, yes. You can't even have a decent shower or nothing with the water gone like this all the time. I'm sick of it."

Rationing in place

The mayor said the town is coping through rationing.

"One side of the community is shut off so we can supply the other side of the community, and we have been rotating back and forth for the past couple of days," said Corcoran.

He said local MHA Felix Collins was in the community on Sunday, and engineers from the province had a look at the system on Monday in an effort to pinpoint the problem. 

Corcoran said the province has been helpful with the immediate issues, but there's been no commitment for a long-term solution.

"It really breaks your heart when you're visiting people and you look at them and you can't exactly tell why the water is gone or how we're going to fix it and we can't afford to do something," said Corcoran.