The Town of Sutton protects its water
– PRESS RELEASE –
The Town of Sutton has made public the conclusions of the study report on the water situation by the engineering firm Tetra Tech. Taking note of its recommendations, it announces measures that it intends to implement in the near future and in the longer term in order to respond to an issue that will become major in the coming years.
A context of water shortage
Like many municipalities, the Town of Sutton is facing a water supply problem that is particularly acute in its mountain sector and could even lead to safety risks. With decreases in water flow during low water periods, repeated episodes of drought and an increase in the number of full-time residents, the current network is struggling to meet demand and is limiting the development of new constructions. It should be remembered that the homes on the territory of Sutton served by the Town’s water system are served in two different ways: in the mountain sector, water is produced by treating surface water from Spruce, Vogel and Mud lakes. In the Village area, water is drawn from the groundwater-fed Academy Well.
The Tetra Tech study report
In order to overcome these obstacles to its development, the Town wished to update the various solutions available to it in the current context. Tetra Tech was commissioned to conduct a feasibility study on the connection of the two drinking water systems managed by the Town, namely the village and mountain sectors. Such a connection could allow the mountain sector’s water system to be supplied from the village sector’s groundwater and thus allow new construction in the mountain sector. However, in addition to the estimated cost of linking the two networks at approximately $15 million, the additional water supply capacity would be limited to a total of 400 new doors, while the demand for new housing could reach 1,000 doors.
The Municipality’s action plan
In light of this information and Tetra Tech’s recommendations for short-term action, Council plans to take several actions:
- The realization of a hydrogeological study on the aquifer of the village sector to confirm the capacity of the groundwater of the Academy well including pumping tests over a long period of time (work on order at a cost of $46,980 + taxes);
- The completion of a geological and hydrogeological study in the mountain sector to determine suitable locations for exploratory drilling;
- The reinforcement of water saving measures for citizens and promoters during the construction or renovation of homes (e.g.: obligation to install low water consumption equipment). The newly created environmental advisory committee will be responsible for inventorying all applicable measures.
- A freeze on all new construction in the mountain sector in order to avoid aggravating the water shortage situation while a permanent solution is found. To this effect, the council will present a resolution to the Brome-Missisquoi MRC, asking it to adopt a regional interim control which, according to the Town, is in line with the MRC’s desire to protect the water supply throughout its territory.
For the mayor, these measures are a matter of course: “The precautionary principle must guide our decisions. It would be unreasonable to grant new construction permits in the mountains without ensuring that the water needs are met. Similarly, we must verify the capacity of the groundwater in the village to be recharged.
The long-term availability of drinking water is the top priority of Council and the Town’s administration, and they are committed to doing what is right for the community and for future generations.
Study Report on the water situation – Tetra Tech (in French)