2018-01-12 / Front Page

Third well hinging on testing at mobile home park

Times Record Staff

CONSTRUCTION TO PUT AN EXISTING WELL in service at Bay Bridge Estates in Brunswick is complete and now the mobile home park awaits state test results before the water source can be introduced to the water system. 
DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD CONSTRUCTION TO PUT AN EXISTING WELL in service at Bay Bridge Estates in Brunswick is complete and now the mobile home park awaits state test results before the water source can be introduced to the water system. DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD BRUNSWICK

Owners of the Bay Bridge

Estates say a third well is expected to be in operation next week, which should ease the water shortage that plagued the mobile home park since late December.

Some residents, however, have speculated that a new well had actually been drilled last summer and never hooked up to the park’s well-fed water system.

Not so, according to Kevin McCarthy of BBE LLC. McCarthy said the park, knowing the other two wells were not at the levels they once were, looked into using a well that was capped more than 30 years ago by prior owners, for reasons unknown to him. It taps into a different water vein than the other two wells, he said.

According to his Jan. 4 letter to the town of Brunswick’s attorney, the site for a new well was identified last summer and its use approved last fall. Construction slated for spring of 2018 instead started last week due to the water crisis.

McCarthy said the existing well was uncapped last summer to determine whether it could be used in place of digging a completely new well.

This week’s work has involved digging down to the existing well to install the casing necessary to bring it up to current standards. Crews did the necessary trenching and installation of pipes, crossing under one interior road to the filtration building. McCarthy expected to get the approval by Thursday for filtration testing.

With the state committed to expedite testing, he said, the well certainly should be online by next week.

“Flow testing on this well indicates that it’s pretty healthy and, in and of itself, should be able to take care of the daily usage of the park,” he said. “Coupled with the other two, it will take care of the extraordinary demands that we’ve seen.”

A couple weeks of bitter cold temperatures taxed the water supply due to some broken pipes and several tenants running water in their homes to keep the pipes from freezing. Park management restricted water flow, turning up the pressure at peak usage times to 409 residences. In the interim period before a new well is put online, the town arranged bulk water deliveries to the park, which started a week ago.

With temperatures warming and water flowing again, there have been other problems.

“We’ve had some complaints both on the intake side of things with disposal of water, i.e. the sewer lines, and particularly in the case of sewer lines, the issue has been the homeowners’ own pipes have frozen,” said McCarthy. “We’ve had contractors out flushing sewer lines for people.”

He advised residents experiencing water and sewer line issues to alert park management.

Marieke Giasson, an incorporator helping to form a tenant association, said she only learned Thursday the third well under construction was an existing well, and questioned why it wasn’t hooked up earlier.

Now many residents are saying they’re faced with broken water pipes and broken hot water heaters due to the un-announced water restriction. A few have sewage that back up into their homes, and no money for repairs or other lodging.

An alert about the water problem, Giasson said, with tips to withstand the water rationing from park management, could have avoided thousands of dollars in damage.

“Let me tell you, I’ve been in tears over this a few times,” Giasson said.

She said she’s cried “tears of anger and disgust” over what “so many vulnerable people,” including those who are elderly and “on an extremely low to

no income,” have had to endure.

“If this could have been avoided by some very simple things, I’m disgusted,” she added.

Brunswick Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Emerson, the town’s health officer, said the next goal is to get the well connected and see of what it is capable. It may or may not settle the water supply issue, he said, “but the town is committed to seeing the issues through until its completion.”

The state routinely tests the water, Emerson said, but in response to resident concerns about water quality, the town is looking at additional testing that may prove beneficial and provide peace of mind.

The town is also very interested in taking a look at some of the infrastructure at the park, he said, “just to make sure that things that are necessary are getting accomplished.”

“We don’t want people running out of water,” Emerson said. “Especially in the middle of winter at 20 below.”


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