The City of Saskatoon, in conjunction with the provincial Water Security Agency, has issued a drinking water advisory for several neigbhourhoods in the city’s northeast.
The move came Monday after an electrical contractor working on private land in the Evergreen neighbourhood broke 42-inch water main. This caused water pressure to fall in neighbouroods on the east side of the river north of College Drive and east of Central Avenue.
Communities affected include: Evergreen, Willowgrove (east of McOrmand Drive), University Heights (Suburban Center), Erindale, Arbour Creek and Forest Grove.
The city reported Monday that they first got calls about the issue around 11:30 a.m. and that the break was isolated by about 1:15 p.m., with water pressure returning to normal levels later in the afternoon.
The drinking water advisory was issued as a precaution as city crews do tests to make sure water quality has not been compromised. The advisory will remain in place at least until those test results come back, a process that is expected to take 48 and 72 hours.
Questioned during the Monday meeting of Saskatoon City Council, Saskatoon city manager Murray Totland promised that there would be a full investigation into the incident. During a press conference Monday afternoon, officials said the current focus is on fixing the water service and ensuring the drinking water is safe, with issues of liability and reprecussions for the contractor to be worked out by lawyers and insurance.
What to do:
The drinking water advisory asks residents in affected neighbourhoods to do the following:
(a) boil all water, used for drinking purposes, for at least one (1) minute, at a rolling boil, prior to use;
(b) boil water to be used for other activities where it may be ingested, including: (i) brushing teeth or soaking false teeth; (ii) washing fruits and vegetables; (iii) food or drink which will not be subsequently heated; and (iv) ice cubes;
(c) not use the water for washing dishes, unless the water has been boiled or the dishes are sanitized in another fashion. Washed dishes and utensils can be soaked in a bleach water solution (approximately 2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon or 10 ml of bleach per liter of water) for at least two minutes after being washed to kill any bacteria which may be present. Note: Do not mix bleach with soaps or detergents.
(d) not drink from any public drinking fountains supplied with water from the public water supply;
(e) ensure that younger children and infants are sponge bathed
(f) use an alternative water source known to be safe, if they do not wish to boil the water
(g) consult with your physician if you have cuts or rashes that are severe before using the water. Under most circumstances, there is no need to boil water used for other household purposes. Adults, adolescents and older children may shower, bathe or wash using tap water but should avoid swallowing the water. Laundry may be washed in tap water, either by hand or by machine.