UPDATE: Boil order lifted in Woodstock

by | Feb 20, 2024

Town issues notice just after noon Tuesday, Feb. 20

A significant water main break on Feb. 16 affected streets fed by water from the Eastwood water tower and forced the boil order. 

Woodstock Director of Utilities John Lyons announced lifting the boil order in a release just after noon on Tuesday, Feb. 20. 

“The Department of Health has notified the Town of Woodstock that the boil water advisory has now been rescinded,” Lyons said in the release. “We therefore wish to inform residents that the municipal water is safe for human consumption.”

Woodstock utility crews completed repairs of a significant water main break on Saturday, Feb. 17. Still, water-testing protocols required a boiling order to remain in place until at least Tuesday.

A press release issued by the town on Sunday, Feb. 18, provided an explanation and update of the ongoing water supply problem.

It explained a split on the 10-inch main trunk line feeding the Eastwood water reservoir occurred on Friday, Feb. 16, around 4 p.m., quickly draining the Eastwood water reservoir.

“Quick work from public works staff by isolating lines kept the water loss to only people fed from the Eastwood tower,” the release explained.

The town explained that public work crews, assisted by a private contractor, finished the main line repairs at approximately 6 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, allowing the task of filling the drained reservoir and water mains to begin. This was completed around 11 p.m.

“As soon as a water main and, in this case, also a reservoir is dewatered, the town utility working with the Department of Health implemented a boil order for the Eastwood water system,” the town explained. “To lift a boil order, provincial protocol calls for two sets of samples taken 24 hours apart and sent to an accredited lab for analysis.”

The press release explained that because of the large zone affected by the break, the protocol requires six individual samples.

The town said crews gathered and delivered the first samples to RPC in Fredericton on Sunday, Feb. 18

It explained crews will gather and deliver more samples on Monday, Feb. 19.

“Assuming all 12 of these samples have no traces of coliform, the boil order should be lifted. 

Tuesday, Feb. 20, in the afternoon,” the town release explained. “At this point, the public will be notified that the boil water order has been lifted. Again, thank you to the residents of Woodstock (Ward 4) for your patience.”

The water main break and affected area included a large section of the north end of Woodstock. A map issued by the town with affected streets highlighted in yellow shows the area, including much of Connell Street and Main Street and all connecting streets.

Woodstock Mayor Trina Jones, while attending the busy Family Day activities at the AYR Motor Centre on Monday, Feb. 19, praised the quick response of utility crews to complete repairs.

She said the first water tests were good and expected the same for Tuesday’s tests. Still, she said, the Department of Health and the town want to use utmost caution before lifting the boil order.

Jones acknowledged the timing of the water main break proved highly inconvenient as it affected a busy part of the town during a busy Family Day weekend.

She said the loss or reduction of water pressure created additional challenges for organizers of the Maritime Snowmobile Races at the Connell Park Raceway and AYR Motor Centre.

Jones said the water problems also forced the temporary closure of some restaurants during a particularly busy weekend.

Jones said the break is another example of the town’s challenges as it deals with its aging water and sewer infrastructure.

The mayor said she and the council planned to address the town’s water and sewer issues at the Feb. 27 council session even before the latest problems. 

She said the utility report will look at steps already taken and steps to take in the near future to deal with ongoing issues. 

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