Nova Scotia

Halifax water system to be fenced off from swimmers

It is hard to keep the city's backup water supply clean when people and pets are using it as a swimming hole. That's why Halifax Water is having a fence installed along part of the Chain of Lakes trail.

Halifax Water wants swimmers to stay out of secondary water supply

A fence is being built along part of the Chain of Lakes trail to keep swimmers out of the municipality's backup water system. (CBC)

Halifax Water is taking back its backup water supply from local swimmers.

A fence is being constructed along part of Halifax's Chain of Lakes trail to protect the secondary water supply. 

That area of water does not have a filtration system but over the summer it became a popular swimming hole. 

"It's very important to keep that backup water supply as clean as we possibly can." said James Campbell, a spokesman for the water utility.

"And the best way to do that is to keep people and pets away."

James Campbell, a spokesman with Halifax Water, said the backup water supply needs to be kept clean. (CBC)

Water officials wanted to install a fence two years ago when a new sewage pipe between the Nine Mile treatment facility and the Halifax system was installed along the trail. 

But city officials intervened. 

Swimmers were persistent

Councillor Linda Mosher, District 9, Halifax West Armdale, explained the situation in a recent column to her residents.

"I was disappointed with the lack of consultation with HRM, their proposed length of fencing and that they wanted to install it adjacent to the paved trail." Mosher said.  "It would not feel like a natural, urban greenway."

So the fencing work was put on hold. But the number of people swimming in the waterway created work for police, water officials and even private security.  

"There's an island in the middle of the lake which people seemed to like to swing off and at one point, there was actually a swinging rope," Campbell said.   

The fencing will be set back from the trail and will either be black or green in colour to reduce its impact on the view.   

The Chain of Lakes trail is 7.25 kilometres long. It starts at Joseph Howe Drive, runs through the Bayers Lake Business Park and ends at the Lakeside Business Park. 

The fenced section begins at the spillway and runs along the length of the lake.  

Construction of the fencing should be completed by the end of November.

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