Jail now getting Charlottetown water

Published on December 21, 2015

Provincial Correctional Centre in Charlottetown.

©Photo special to The Guardian

Sleepy Hollow jail outside city boundaries but council allowed hook-up with a 25 percent additional usage fee

A project to connect the Provincial Correctional Centre to Charlottetown’s municipal water system is complete.

It was reported in July that unsafe levels of arsenic and uranium were found in the jail's groundwater supply from its two on-site wells.

That forced inmates and staff to use bottled water. That was done at a cost of $1,000 per week.

There were no reports of illness among inmates or employees, but they have been using bottled water for drinking and food preparation ever since.

Washing and showering has been permitted with jail water as the guidelines are only for water to be consumed.

Arsenic and uranium are both naturally occurring in groundwater, part of the natural breakdown of the minerals in the bedrock.

The majority of P.E.I. groundwater tested by the province contains only trace amounts safely below national guidelines based on lifetime consumption.

The jail is outside Charlottetown city limits but council voted at its July public meeting to allow the Sleepy Hollow facility to hook into its municipal water supply. The city will charge a 25 per cent premium as a surcharge for its ervices provided outside the city boundaries.

“The completion of this project will ensure the supply of water from a reliable and regularly-inspected source for staff and inmates at the correctional facility,” said Paula Biggar, minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

“I appreciate the patience of staff during the time this connection was under construction,” she said.

The connection work began in September by Island Coastal Services.