PECI pitches in as water levels rise across Prince Edward County

PECI students work shovels and sandbags at the Johnson St. soccer pitch parking lot. Last year, secondary school students pitched in and filled sandbags for shoreline residents who are unable to fill their own sandbags at the stations throughout Prince Edward County. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)




Local secondary students traded school books for sandbags on Wednesday.

Lake Ontario water levels have been slowly rising over the past few weeks causing people to sandbag around their homes and while the municipality has provided free sandbagging stations throughout the County not everyone can physically fill their own bags due to illness, injury, age, ect. 

Thankfully secondary students at PECI have volunteered their time and efforts to helping those members of the community.

We greatly appreciate that PECI secondary students have volunteered to help out vulnerable members of our community,” said Steve Ferguson, Mayor, County of Prince Edward. “These young adults are already demonstrating the community spirit that makes Prince Edward County so special.”

Ferguson met with and thanked students personally on Wednesday morning at the nearby Johnson St. soccer pitch parking lot where bags, shovels and bulk loads of sand were awaiting students.

While the sandbags can be effective in protecting residences, they are not intended to protect shorelines and accessory buildings. For more information on ways to protect shoreline, the public is asked contact the Quinte Conservation office at (613) 968-3434 or (613) 354-3312 and speak with expert staff in the planning and regulations department.

Shoreline residents are advised to either secure or remove loose items from their properties where there is a risk of infringing flood water.

The municipality announced Wednesday three municipal boat launches are closed as a result of the high water levels including Big Island, Weller’s Bay – Edward Drive and West Lake’s Mabel Kleinsteuber Launch – County Rd 12

High winds and waves can lead to shoreline erosion when lake levels are elevated. Boaters are asked to minimize their wake when passing shorelines.

Meanwhile Quinte Conservation has issued a flood watch Roblin Lake in Ameliasburgh has been issued a flood watch and has surpassed the 1 in 100 year floodplain, however, some properties in the area are experiencing flooded lawns. A small water control structure at the outlet of Roblin Lake is owned by Quinte Conservation and currently has no logs in the structure to allow for continuous outflow from the lake. Quinte Conservation staff will continue to monitor conditions twice a week.

If you are concerned that your shoreline well or septic has been compromised, please contact your local health unit as your drinking water may have become contaminated due to the flooding and rising water levels in the County.

If you have a municipal water supply make sure to listen and follow public announcements as the local authorities will disperse information if your municipal tap water is safe to use and what steps to take if it’s not. 

If you own a well or cistern water supply and it has been flooded, it may be contaminated as well.

Before the water is tested Hastings Prince Edward Public Health strongly urge you to use an alternate safe drinking water supply such as bottled water for cooking or preparing food, making baby formula, washing dishes, cleaning, brushing your teeth, washing your hands, making ice and bathing.

Boiling your water will not remove chemical contaminants and if you suspect or are informed your water is contaminated with chemicals, consult with a water treatment specialist.

It is important that the public never trek through or play in flood water as it is tremendously unsafe and can be contaminated with septic and hazardous debris.

Once water begins to recede, if you have a well or cistern it will need to be disinfected.

For current water levels, to report any observations of flooding, or for resource links, residents are encouraged to and for more information on water resource issues such as supply, quality ect. please contact: Christine McClure, Water Resources Manager (613) 968-3434 ext. 130 OR (613) 354-3312 ext. 130.