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Council buoys staff toward Perkinsfield water-fill station concerns

Public works staff hears resident concerns on water jug fill station problems, looks to custom manufacturers for accessibility solutions

When it comes to water in Tiny, resident concerns are no drop in the bucket.

Tiny public works engineering manager Jean-François Robitaille addressed council at a recent regular meeting, in regards to resident concerns over the Perkinsfield water filling station on Balm Beach Road.

“We replaced the water-filling station in Perkinsfield last year, because the previous system had gotten to the end of its life,” Robitaille stated, “and it posed a bunch of problems just because it was simply just a few yard hydrants that we had let the public access.”

According to Robitaille, reasons for a replacement installation included: increased flow rates; excess leakage from members of the public abandoning the station with water still turned on; and abuse of users connecting hoses to the system to fill large tanks; and other unintended purposes.

A push-button system was installed for smaller water flow, with the intent to fill water jugs.

“Because of this change, obviously the public wasn’t very happy,” admitted Robitaille in response to numerous complaints over the year.

“It came to our attention two weeks ago that there was a public petition posted at the filling station asking for the old system to be put back in. We just want the public to know that we are looking at ways to improve the system in terms of usability.”

Robitaille explained that due to varying water jug sizes, staff would be looking at raising the height of the system for accommodation purposes. Additionally, the spring rate of the button would be re-examined for greater ease of use to push down.

Ease of use was one concern Coun. Cindy Hastings had received through similar complaints about the system. She asked Robitaille if staff had engaged with the accessibility committee for further input, which he noted had not happened as of yet.

“At this point, we have followed up with the manufacturer, and they don’t offer any canned solution to these problems. So we’re going to have to go look at getting something fabricated at a metal working shop to lift those up,” replied Robitaille.

“The manufacturer does state that these meet the accessibility requirements for the push button for the force needed, but we’re still getting complaints on that.

Robitaille added, “There’s not a whole lot of these purpose jug fillers on the market, which is why we ended up with this specific model. We could only find two or three out there, so there weren’t a whole lot of options to choose from to start with. That’s why we have what we have.”

Council asked staff to return with updates and progress on the matter.

Information on the Perkinsfield water filling station, located at 39 Balm Beach Road West, can be found in the municipal water page located on the Tiny Township website.

Archives of council meetings are available to view on Tiny township’s YouTube channel.

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Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Derek Howard covers Midland and Penetanguishene area civic issues under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada.
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