Residents of Nanaimo, BC, are being advised not to use water after a heavy storm has caused widespread damage on Thursday.
The city of Nanaimo says that the storm and power outages knocked out its water treatment plant so it could not produce water. The team said Friday afternoon that the facility began to produce water, but not enough to meet normal demand.
Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said that a generator in the factory failed. Teams have been able to restore partial power but are still dealing with mechanical problems – first a broken fan belt and then faults in the generator's electrical circuits.
"This is an important issue for the city and its citizens," Krog said. "We know that many Aboriginal communities across the country face this constantly and I would not wish that on anyone."
Nanaimo has a population of 105,000.
The city is urging residents to reduce water use, including laundry, showers, showers, car wash, dishwashers and other non-essential uses.
"We're asking people not to use water until further notice," Krog said. "No flushing or anything."
The city says that water is safe to drink, but it has to be conserved for firefighting. It is not yet known when the generator will be restored.
The pools and arenas of the city are closed until further notice. The town says that the showers and bathrooms in the pool are not usable and that the staff at the arena are not able to wipe the ice.
"It will be very difficult for family businesses, for care facilities, for all people who depend on clean and safe water," Krog said.
"It's very difficult to tell people to close down their business when it's often the most beneficial time to be in business."
"The teams are working hard to solve this problem and will provide updates as the information becomes available," said Bill Sims, director of engineering and public works in the city.
"People are paying attention [the restrictions]. We are realizing that consumption is low. So that's great, very good news. "
At Food Koma in Downtown Nanaimo, Ibrahim Herwi is hopeful that the situation will improve soon.
Some restaurants have modified their menus and services because of the restrictions.
"We're just being cautious about how we're going to use it. We're not going to let the taps work or anything," Herwi said.
"If we have to wash, we'll do it quickly and we'll fill a bucket of soapy water so we can use the soap water."
Joanne Hogan, a 21-year-old resident of the city, said the situation worsened because no one had time to prepare.
"A lot of people did not get the essentials yesterday because the stores were closed," Hogan said. "There were lineups already for fuel last night. Everywhere I tried to go, the queues were huge."
Damaged Saltwater Supply
Meanwhile, on Salt Spring Island, felled trees that damaged the community's water infrastructure affected some parts of the island's water supply.
"There are two boil warnings on two small systems on Salt Spring Island, but not all, although we are urging all residents to save water at the moment across the island," said Andy Orr's statement to the Capital Regional District . .
Until the water service is restored, the authorities issued a boiling water alert for the Fernwood part of the Highland-Fernwood water system.
Residents of the region should boil the water until later, officials said.
The community has a population of 10,700.