Town of Big River issues boil water advisory

Jason Kerr
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The community of Big River is under a boil water advisory after a major water main break Sunday morning.

The town discovered the leak around 9:30 a.m. and issued the boil water advisory two hours later.

“We have everybody on minimal use of water until we can get our reserves re-filled,” Big River Mayor Rob Buckingham says.  “All our reserves are depleted.  Right now we’re building our reserves and everything should be back to normal by Friday.”

Buckingham says they originally had some trouble with the water lines, but it’s been smooth sailing since then.

“It took us a while to isolate the problem and we lost pressure in our main line,” he says.  “So as per direction from the Ministry of Health and the Water Security Agency we issued a boil water advisory.  That will stay on until our testing is complete and we can ensure the water is safe to drink.”

Early on Monday morning a radio report said the advisory had been lifted, but Buckingham says that’s not the case.  He says there are still a number of tests that have to be completed before things get back on schedule.

“We expect to be testing at a minimum (until) Wednesday afternoon for sure, possible Thursday.  It depends on how the testing goes.”

Local residents were without water for about eight hours on Sunday while town workers dealt with the problem.  Since then Buckingham says they’ve had no complaints from residents about the trouble.

“We had an excellent response from the community,” he says.

Volunteers went door-to-door on Monday distributing warning leaflets in person.  Buckingham says he’s pleased with how the town and its residents responded to the problem

“We appreciated that all of our staff came together and did exactly what was required of them.”

Big River is a located along Highway 55 about 130 kilometres northwest of Prince Albert.  The population is 639 according to a 2011 census.

Organizations: Ministry of Health, Water Security Agency

Geographic location: Big River, Prince Albert

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