Saskatoon residents affected by the drinking water advisory are getting some much-needed help.
Starting Tuesday morning, those impacted by the water outage can fill large water jugs at Fire Hall # 9 located on Attridge Drive with City of Saskatoon water trailers.
As of 12:30 p.m., another water site has been set-up at Fire Station #5 on Central Avenue.
“We know most people will look after getting their own water and we’re hoping to make that a bit easier for residents,” said Assistant Fire Chief Anthony Tataryn in a news release Tuesday.
“Of course family, friends and employers in unaffected areas are encouraged to help where they can by allowing those people to fill jugs of potable water from their unaffected taps.”
The water filling station at Fire Hall #9, right in the heart of the affected zones, includes two trailers. The set up at Fire Hall #5 is a little different as people can use a spigot on the side of the station so there will never be a shortage of water there.
Tataryn says they’re hoping to alleviate some of the congestion at #9.
“What we’re asking people is to think about the fact there is a limited supply at nine station that will be replenished on an ongoing basis,” said Tataryn. “The number five station will always have supply, but we are encouraging people to look at family, friends and businesses to get their potable water supply for the next couple of days.”
As for fears of water running out at number nine, Tataryn says there are plans in place so that won’t happen.
“We have two full trailers there all the time while we refill another trailer,” said Tataryn. “Tankers are coming on site and either bringing us a full trailer or bringing us a full trailer and refilling the other trailers that are there. So far the logistics are working well. We don’t have any idea what the peak demand will look like later in the evenings, so we are trying to make sure we have contingencies in place for that.”
The city said water filling stations will be organized for residents in six neighbourhoods: Arbor Creek, Erindale, Evergreen, Forest Grove, University Heights Suburban Center and Willowgrove.
The drinking water advisory was issued Monday afternoon, after a private contractor damaged a primary water main near McOrmond Drive, which in turn depressurized the water distribution system.
The advisory is expected to be in place until at least Thursday, once lab tests confirm the water is safe to drink.
On Tuesday, the stretch of McOrmand Drive near Fedoruk Road where the water main damage took place was dry after being flooded, exposing large cracks and slumping.
Family, friends and employers are also encouraged to help these residents where they can by filling jugs of potable water.
Additionally, those who require extra support in meeting drinking water needs can receive bottled water at Fire Stations #5 and #9.
Questioned during the Monday meeting of Saskatoon City Council, Saskatoon city manager Murray Totland promised there would be a full investigation into the incident.
What to do:
The drinking water advisory asks residents in affected neighbourhoods to do the following:
- Boil all water, used for drinking purposes, for at least one (1) minute, at a rolling boil, prior to use.
- 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.
- 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.
- Not drink from any public drinking fountains supplied with water from the public water supply.
- Ensure that younger children and infants are sponge-bathed.
- Use an alternative water source known to be safe, if they do not wish to boil the water.
- 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.