Column: Thank you to Richmond residents affected by Boil Water Advisory

Another week has come and gone, as has another Boil Water Advisory.  After last week's power outage and subsequent Boil Water Advisory in Munster, I was informed at 5pm on Friday, May 6th that the City of Ottawa’s Public Health department were issuing another advisory, this time for the King's Park community in Richmond, more commonly known as the Glen.  By 5:30, I was on the ground going door to door and by 9:00, along with 5 Public Health teams, we had spoken to and/or dropped flyers to all affected residents in Richmond.

The need to issue the Boil Water Advisory was triggered by the loss of pressure in the communal well system.  The communal well has a backup generator for use when the power goes out, such as during the windstorm on April 28th.  The generator kicks in and the water continues to flow at full pressure.  What occurred Friday was that the generator, which did kick in a week before, failed to do so this time.  It turns out a fuse shorted causing the generator to fail.  The power was only out for a short period of time, however, and the water turned back on after 80 minutes, long enough for the City to take precaution and issue the boil water advisory.  After two consecutive water tests showing the water was all clear, the advisory was lifted on Sunday evening, exactly 48 hours after it began.

Every now and then, some good comes from bad and the two isolated events in Munster and Richmond are examples of this.  In order to get the message out that the advisory was lifted, I used the voter’s list from the recent election to put together a phone blast.  Having done this during the campaign, I already had the majority of the phone numbers on file.  Seeing as this is the most effective way of communication on short notice, it looks as though the City will try to implement this as a part of its emergency preparedness strategy.  For me, my only goal was to inform you when the advisory was lifted, but knowing that this may become the norm at the City of Ottawa is a step in the right direction.

To the affected Richmond residents, I truly want to thank you again for your patience and cooperation during the Boil Water Advisory.  Sometimes, we don’t realize how much we take certain things for granted.  A perfect example would be when I had to personally visit the homes that I couldn’t reach by phone.  I told someone that the advisory was lifted and they could go back to using water and his daughter proceeded to run through the house screaming “WATER!”  For her, it would appear 48 hours was long enough.

Emergency Detour Routes



While driving around Rideau-Goulbourn lately, you may have seen some signs with bags over them.  We are currently launching a new program aimed at Emergency Preparedness.  The following is an excerpt from our announcement on this program:

Over the next few months, pre-identified detour routes marked by orange Emergency Detour Route (EDR) signs will be installed to guide travelers off the city’s highways and efficiently through city streets in the event of an incident that causes the highway to close unexpectedly.

The introduction of Emergency Detour Routes (EDR) in the City of Ottawa will also help direct motorists through Ottawa in the most effective manner to keep traffic moving, help drivers who are unfamiliar with the City’s roads, and prevent heavy trucks from using  local streets, which are not constructed to handle heavier loads or traffic volumes.

The City of Ottawa and the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) have worked with the Ontario Provincial Police, the Ottawa Police Services, and local emergency services to create approximately 80 designated routes, each with eastbound and westbound detours for Highway 417 and Ottawa Road 174, and northbound and southbound detours for Highway 416. The City will install more than 2000 signs, which were supplied by MTO.



No matter where you are on Highway 417, 416 or Ottawa Road 174 in the City of Ottawa, there's an alternate route to take if an emergency closes down the road.

For more information about EDR visit ottawa.ca/detour or call 3-1-1.

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If you have any questions or concerns about these issues or any other, please contact me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or by phone at 613-580-2491. You can also get up-to-date information about the Ward and Greater Ottawa daily by following on Twitter and Facebook.