Advisory of the Day
WEYBURN, SK: PDWA AND WATER CONSERVATION ALERT CAUSED BY PUMP FAILURES
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The Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan issued a precautionary drinking water advisory (PDWA) for the town of Weyburn on June 23 due to technical issues at the water treatment plant.
Weyburn also advised residents that an emergency water conservation alert was in effect and asked that water be used sparingly.
Weyburn has a population of 10 870 people and is known as the opportunity city. It is located in south eastern Saskatchewan, 116 kilometres from Regina and 70 kilometres from the state of North Dakota and the American border.
Over half a million tons of grain passes through Weyburn terminals every year, more than any other town in Canada. It is also home to The Turner Curling Museum, the first curling museum in the world.
The distribution pumps at the Weyburn Water Treatment Plant that provide water to the whole town are experiencing mechanical issues. Citizens are asked to limit their use of water to essential household use, however certain precautions should be followed when doing so.
All water for consumption should be boiled for at least one minute. Residents should not use tap water for washing dishes unless the water has been boiled or mixed with two tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water beforehand.
Water can be used for showering and bathing but infants and younger children should be sponged bathed to see that they don't swallow any water. Business owners should not serve tap water to patrons and are asked to disconnect coffee makers, soda fountains and ice machines.
Nader Eshta Director of Engineering for the City of Weyburn explained "it's a mechanical failure for the distribution system that happened during Saturday and due to this failure we have two pumps out of service and the third pump is partially out of service so we are running on the emergency pump right now."
The Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan recommended that a PDWA be issued to be on the safe side. Eshta said the pumps that failed were built in 1959 and had reached the end of their lifespan.
Concerning the water conservation alert, Eshta said "we are still producing water at the same rates but they are urging the residents to reduce their consumption in order not to put extra demand on the diesel pump.”
When this reporter spoke to him on june 25 they were rebuilding pump number four and were hoping to be ready to use it by end of the day. They planned to start repairs on pump number 3 the next day and hope to finish all repairs by the end of the week.
The province requires two samples to be taken 24 hours apart. Eshta said they may have to make an arrangement so the lab can receive the samples over the long weekend.
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