Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com
Rebecca Johnson speaks to local media on June 10, 2012.
With the city’s sewage plant nearing 50 per cent pumping capacity, public pools could reopen as soon as Tuesday.
City officials gave another update about the Atlantic Avenue sewage treatment plant at Sunday’s media conference with the hopes that water restrictions could lift and public pools reopen. The city closed a number of pools including the Canada Games Complex, Churchill Pool and Volunteer Pool about two weeks ago in order to conserve water.
Even though things appear to be going well, Acting mayor Rebecca Johnson said they still want the public to conserve water.
“Before we open the complex and all the pools, we’re going to have to wait another 48 hours before that can happen,” Johnson said. “Water restrictions could possibly be lifted Monday but we feel very strongly that it would be better to be ready for potential risks. I would rather say it would take longer than shorter.”
She said council would be appointing the eight members who will make up the city’s disaster relief fund committee at Monday night’s meeting. She said people have applied to sit on the committee and councillors will also recommendations.
Johnson also wanted to remind everyone to dispose of their flood-damaged items by leaving them by the curb for pick-up and contact city workers at 625-2195.
Kerri Marshall, manager of environment with the city, said the plant’s current pumping capacity is around 50 per cent but to bring the plant to full capacity they will need to make sure all four pumps are up and running.
“We’ve had two main pumps running over the last couple of days and they have been performing very well,” Marshall said. “We’re hoping by the end of today that we`ll have two additional motors back in place. That will bring us one step closer to bring our pumping capacity up to our normal full capacity.”
She said once they have commissioned the motors and successfully tested them they will revisit the water restrictions.
City manager Tim Commisso said this week they are focusing on recovering now that Thunder Bay is officially a disaster area. City council last Monday started the disaster relief fund with $500,000 and since then donations have come in but Commisso said he wasn’t sure how much had been raised so far.
More than 500 homeowners have registered with the city for clean-up assistance through the Safe Home clean-up program. The program is for homeowners who do not have insurance or not enough to cover the damages.