Residents dealing with frozen tanks
Due to the bitter cold temperatures, residents near the North Kent Wind project found themselves without their temporary water source over the holidays.
Several water wells in the project area, currently under construction by Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Energy, have been clogged with sediments shortly after pile-driving took place for constructing the turbines.
Jessica Brooks, who lives on Brook Line with her husband Paul, had been dealing with a frozen exterior tank, which had been installed as an interim solution in the summer.
“New Year’s Eve, we had friends who were watching the house call us and say the water stopped running,” she said while her metal tank was being serviced on Tuesday.
Brooks said she was under the impression the tank wasn’t going to be needed for so long. She said there were problems with freezing at the outtake in the beginning of December.
“When I contacted both the Ministry of the Environment and Pattern Energy, nobody got back to me. We got it moving ourselves,” she said.
She had a bucket of well water with sediment in it that the family uses to flush the toilet.
“It’s just been frustrating,” she said. “We’ve been saying this (freezing) was going to happen.”
Kevin Jakubec, spokesman for the grassroots organization Water Wells First, said he’s aware of five households dealing with frozen tanks.
He said the problem could have been far worse if there was more snow.
“Imagine if we had a foot of snow,” he said. “If we have a blizzard, you are not going to get these trucks down these roads.”
In an e-mail to The Daily News, Pattern Energy stated it “received one report of a frozen tank this morning and the issue has been resolved.”
The company has maintained that the evidence doesn’t support the idea that pile-driving vibration has an impact on well water.
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change stated that North Kent 1 proactively supplied an alternative water supply to any complainant that had requested one, including bottled water for consumption and a water tank for all other domestic use.
“The company is responsible for addressing any concerns with the water supplies that have been provided, including addressing any issues related to freezing or access during snow events,” the ministry said.
“The ministry is continuing its review of well water assessment reports submitted by the company related to complaints over impacts during wind turbine construction. The ministry anticipates communicating the results of the ministry’s review directly with the well owners over the next few weeks.”…..