A welcomed and timely provincial investment is flowing to the Picton water treatment plant.
On Monday, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal announced the province is investing almost $738,000 into the Picton Water Treatment Plant through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund.
For the past two weeks, Prince Edward County has been under state of emergency after a barge partially sank in the Picton Bay leaking fuel within close vicinity of the treatment plant. It flowed into the intake protection zone one (an early warning system) forcing the shut down of the plant and a boil water advisory.
During his announcement Monday, Leal said Picton is one of 55 communities the government is investing $60 million into roads, bridges, water and wastewater through the OCIF.
The funds will go towards continued upgrades at the Picton facility, including the rehabilitation of filters and improvements to the chlorine system that will improve water quality and safety while protecting the environment.
Minister Leal said the government is committed to improving roads, bridges and water infrastructure in rural Ontario. He added this investment in the Picton Water Treatment Plan will not only help improve water quality and safety for the community, but will boost economic growth and create jobs in eastern Ontario.
“One of the great things now is technology in terms of water and wastewater treatment has advanced so much over the last decade,” he said.
Mayor Robert Quaiff said with this funding and given the recent water emergency they are going to take a hard look changing the at carbon filter system and expanding the water intake in Wellington and get rid of intake in Picton.
An update on the water situation in Picton is expected Tuesday at Shire Hall.
Minister Leal’s last visit to Picton was during the height of the drought in August 2016.
During a round-table discussion with local farmers, Northumberland Quinte-West MPP Lou Rinaldi and mayor Quaiff, Minister Leal learned first hand how the drought was affecting crops.
Minister Leal said Agri-corp did a wonderful risk management payments back to farmers in this area that crops were severely devastated by the drought.