Lake Echo area goes 1 year without drinkable water
A Nova Scotia community that has gone more than a year without drinkable tap water is meeting Friday to consider legal action.
More than 300 families in the Mountain View Trailer Park in Lake Echo have been unable to drink the water straight from their taps for almost 400 days.
Residents have to boil and cool tap water before using it, or buy bottled water.
Bruce Baillie has to go through that routine every time he needs water. He argued it was a violation of his lease and so took his landlord, Killam Properties, to the residential tenancy board.
"They have failed everybody in this park. Every single day, they're failing them," he said.
He won the case and was awarded $660.81.
"The adjudicator determined that what I was asking for was not unreasonable because … my request was basically only for about $2 per day," he said.
Some of Baillie's neighbours want to do the same thing and he is leading a public meeting Friday night at the Lake Echo Community Centre to share what he learned.
"I'm going to be showing the folks the information I have from the hearing so when they want to go forward, they'll know the process. We're also going to try to rally people to appear at the hearing," he said.
"Every face that will be sitting there will be the face of somebody who feels they have been wronged by this company."
That includes Mandie Pelletier.
"I'm going to be at the meeting tonight and I do have an application. The word is getting out," she said. "People have wanted to do something, but didn't know how to go about doing it."
Killam has appealed Baillie's case to the small claims court. It says that it won a previous case in similar circumstances.
Killam's Michael Kabalen said that Baillie's claim amounts to $2 a day and that is too much.
"When you check with Nova Scotia Power's energy calculator, boiling water for 20 minutes [a day] only consumes $19 worth of energy in a year," he said.
If each resident in the park received the same compensation as Baillie, it would cost Killam $230,000. The company has already spent $300,000 on four new wells that should be working by the end of January.
The appeal is scheduled to be heard in March.