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Second Perkinsfield treated water tap to open for spring season

Tiny Township resident goes with the flow as municipality informs him of winterized treated water station becoming operational with arrival of warmer weather
Tiny water station located at 39 Balm Beach Road West in Perkinsfield.

If you’re a user of the Perkinsfield water-fill station and have wondered why only one tap has been in use for the past few months, you’re not alone.

Tiny Township resident Marc Houston contacted MidlandToday with the concern that something might be going on with the long wait lines at the free treated water fill-up just outside the Perkinsfield water station at 39 Balm Beach Road West.

“I have to get water to drink; good, clean drinking water,” Houston shared. “I have a well at my house, but like a lot of houses out here it has a high-iron content.

“I make use of the pumps in Perkinsfield; there’s two municipal water stations there you can fill your water jugs at.”

Houston told MidlandToday that he would frequently visit the fill station – a short distance from the Tiny Township municipal offices – to top up on his large jugs along with other residents. 

What piqued Houston’s curiosity was his observation that only one tap had been operational over the winter. His concern led to a phone call to the township municipal office, where he asked if the township had a plumber on staff to activate the second tap.

“I know that my neighbour across the road pays about $12,000 in property tax a year because he’s waterfront. Just on my stretch of beach alone, there’s got to be about $500,000 in property taxes coming from like 20 properties, basically. That being said, how is it they don’t have a plumber on staff?”

The questioning led to a maze of navigation through the township’s newly-upgraded phone system; a few hours later, an operation services representative informed Houston that not only did the township employ water technicians in place of in-house plumbers, but also the closing of one tap at the Perkinsfield station was intentional due to the winter season.

MidlandToday requested the status of the water station, and was given a response by public works director Tim Leitch that only one of the two treated water taps was in operation throughout the winter due to its installation of heat trace technology, which uses electrical heating to prevent freezing and maintain temperature.

“We have two water-fill stations located in Perkinsfield that provide a convenient local free treated drinking water system for our residents,” wrote Leitch via email. “One station is operating at full capacity. Now that the winter cold temperatures are behind us, we will be checking and starting the other tap up shortly.”

Houston’s complaint isn’t the first time Tiny Township has heard from its residents on the matter. The water station was replaced in 2021 to a push-button system which mitigated abuse of its free treated water.

“Yes, the Township did witness excessive abuse of this system by users filling bulk containers/tanker trucks for application other than drinking water,” said Leitch. “These users also utilized direct connections which is in violation of the operation of a safe drinking water system.” 

However, Leitch added: “The new push button system has eliminated this safety and usage concern.”

Houston complimented municipal staff for their timely response to his inquiry.

The annual spring water main flushing for Tiny Township will take place on April 22 throughout the municipality.

A listing of the municipal water fill stations is available on the Tiny Township website.

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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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