By David Judd
Norfolk County might have the answer to drinking water at Booth’s Harbour. Some homeowners have complained for years about the water piped to their homes in a private water system.
Many want the county to take over the system, do upgrades and connect it to a municipal water system at nearby St. Williams.
But it would cost between $920,000 and $1.3 million. That’s $9,200 to $13,400 per property.
Booth’s Harbour residents should not have to bear the full cost themselves, Brenda Himburg told county councillors on Sept. 3.
The county passed up a chance in 2004 to connect Booth’s Harbour to St. Williams’ waterline from Port Rowan.
Booth’s Harbour Development Ltd., a private company that also supplies water to Booth’s Harbour marina, took over service.
Two years ago, Ms. Himburg took up a petition complaining about the water.
Residents can’t use the water for showers, laundry or washing their hands, she told councillors on Sept. 3.
It’s been a financial and emotional strain, Ms. Himburg said.
Residents say each property paid $1,300 to Booth’s Harbour Developments to connect the private system to St. Williams’ water.
But it hasn’t happened.
Ms. Himburg said the Ministry of Environment for years fell down on monitoring the private water system and did not test for lead.
The ministry says the system currently complies with its standards.
Ms. Himburg said Norfolk should pay part of the cost of upgrading the Booth’s Harbour system.
Council made no promises to Ms. Himburg and about 20 supporters at the Sept. 3 meeting.
At Mayor Kristal Chopp’s suggestion, the county’s solicitor will report on the Ministry of Environment’s obligations.
Staff also will check on how much it might cost Norfolk to buy the system.
Port Rowan Coun. Tom Masschaele said many residents live on fixed incomes and the amount of money they would have to pay for a county system might be excessive.