Force Flow Scales

Nova Scotia flash floods damage water infrastructure as investments announced in Antigonish

Sandy Lake
Halifax Water crews used vacuum trucks to transport wastewater away from the station at Sandy Lake to another nearby facility with available capacity. Photo Credit: Halifax Regional Municipality

Flash flooding damaged a pump station in the Nova Scotia community of Bedford recently, causing sewage to flow into Sandy Lake. 

The flash flooding damaged the pump and its electrical systems, taking the station offline for a couple of days, Halifax Water officials said in a statement.

At least three people died after being swept off the road and submerged during evacuation efforts for the torrential rainstorm in July that resulted in a province-wide state of emergency. 

According to provincial weather officials, the province experienced rainfall amounts of more than 250 mm of rain from July 21-22, which is close to the average amount for an entire summer, and resembles the rainfall impact of a hurricane. 

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“Our infrastructure, just like ourselves, is being pounded by cumulative weather events,” Halifax Mayor Mike Savage told reporters at a press conference.

Use of Sandy Lake was immediately prohibited and residents were asked to limit flushing and pouring into their drains to minimize the amount of wastewater released into the environment.

Halifax Water crews used vacuum trucks to transport wastewater away from the station to another nearby facility with available capacity. 

Crews then began work on commissioning a new control system according to a community notice. 

Residents were advised to not have contact with Sandy Lake until the greenlight was given from the Halifax Regional Municipality through its beach monitoring program.

The province launched a flood registry for people unable to leave their properties.


Moving to the northeast corner of the province, Nova Scotia is investing almost $2 million in water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades that will help the Town of Antigonish and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish prepare for future growth.

Antigonish is upgrading the watermain and sewer infrastructure along Bay and Main streets and building a stormwater sewer and curbs on both sides of the streets. The province is contributing $822,000 to increase the capacity of the watermain and sanitary systems to better serve the existing community. 

More than $1.1 million is being invested to connect more properties to the St. Joseph’s and Lanark drinking water systems. The St. Joseph’s project includes about 40 undeveloped properties and covers more than 260 hectares. The Lanark project includes 10 existing residences, a business and about 15 undeveloped properties, and spans more than 240 hectares.

“These projects will also deliver clean drinking water to over 1,200 acres of property for development, helping the area to grow and flourish,” announced Central Nova MP Sean Fraser, on behalf of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.

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