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Water Today Title August 7, 2020

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Advisory of the Day



This story is brought to you in part by Proteus Waters

By Ronan O'Doherty

Unforeseen mechanical issues prompted the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to issue a do not consume advisory for Regina Pioneer Village on February 3.

The seniors' complex, which is located in the west end of the city, houses 390 long term care residents and provides lodging for another 176 independent senior tenants as well. In addition to the residents, the advisory will affect the Pioneer Village's 600 staff as well.

"It had to do with the hot water system," said Andre Kroeger, Executive Director of Facilities Management for SHA at a media scrum on Monday, "There was a system that was due for repair, it failed prematurely and as a result there was a potential for cross contamination."

Workers that were monitoring the system alerted the proper authorities and the decision was made to shut the water system down to determine if contamination had occurred. Since then, the facility is trying to ensure that similar mishaps don't occur.

"We're going to replace all the pressure valves that could be affected," said Kroeger, "All six of them are going to be replaced on Thursday or Friday this week."

Testing is also taking place, with results expected towards the latter end of the week. If two samples come back with an all-clear, the advisory will be removed.

A spokesperson for SHA, who in addition to issuing the advisory also run the facility, told this reporter via email that they opted to make the advisory a - do not consume - because of the vulnerable population the water system serves. Ordinarily, a pressure loss situation that might result in contamination would typically call for a boil water advisory but they opted to be as cautious as possible.

Debbie Sinnett, Executive Director for Long Term Care with SHA, told reporters at the same media scrum that advisory resulted in changes to their food services procedures.

"We removed contact with any tap water from the food preparation and cooking processes," Sinnett said, "And any of the products that we were serving on our nursing units like coffee and tea that have plumbed in lines, we stopped those immediately and provided alternate beverages."

Most importantly, she also said that none of the residents or staff have fallen sick as a result of the incident that prompted the advisory.

"There's no concern expressed regarding anyone feeling ill or concerned about potential self-impact," she said, "We've not had any residents display any symptoms or any health concerns, so it really is more about when can we get back to normal operations."

She added that the facility has bottled water available as well as water stations on every care unit and all of the staff areas, so everyone still has access to fresh water.

NOTE: Since we went to publication with this story, a water line break took place inside the Village building, causing damage and a need for repairs. According to CKRM The Source,officials believe the line broke because of cold temperatures from outside due to a nearby door left open for an extended length of time.


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