Power restored to water pumps after brief outage
AMHERST - Everything is back to normal at the Tyndal wellfield after power problems related to post-tropical storm Noel shut down pumps that supply Amherst's water supply for a couple of hours early Sunday.
Town manager Greg Herrett said crews responded to the wellfield as soon as the alarm came in and service was quickly restored.
"It was handled very quickly and power was restored soon after the alarm came in," Herrett said. "The water supply was never in jeopardy."
Still, he said, the town has learned a lesson from the outage and will be taking corrective actions.
"I think one of the things we've learned from this is we're going to look at whether we can put some sort of backup power in place out there," he said. "I'm not sure, with the significant electrical load, that you can address it with a generator. It's something we're going to address over the next few months."
The wellfield is powered by a three-phase power line running from the Tyndal Road to operate three large pumps. A breaker at the road was knocked offline during the storm, shutting down the pumps for a couple of hours early Sunday until Nova Scotia Power could restore power later in the morning.
"When the guys got out there they saw there was enough power to run the lights, but not enough to run the pumps," Herrett said.
There's enough water in Amherst's system to meet water demands for about 24 hours. However, an outage lasting longer than that would require conservation measures that would restrict water useage while ensuring there's enough water for fire protection.
"If worse came to worse, we'd have water for fire suppression but it wouldn't be treated with chlorine," he said.
Meanwhile, officials at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre were busy early Monday repairing damage to the hospital's roof early Sunday.
Cumberland Health Authority spokesperson Ann Keddy said a vent was damaged by the wind associated with the storm and it lifted part of the roof's rubber seal allowing wind and rain to get underneath.
Keddy said three patients were moved from the hospital's surgical units early Sunday.
"Temporary repairs have been completed and the roof is watertight again," Keddy said. "The room that was closed has been reopened to patients."