The impact of Thursday’s violent storm is affecting water service in Nanaimo and Salt Spring Island.
Nanaimo officials said the storm compromised “the integrity of the city domestic water plant system,” and at 4 a.m., generators at the plant broke down. Generator power was restored at 6:30 a.m. but critical faults in the plant have been interrupting production. Some water is able to flow through the plan but is no estimated time of restoration of the water treatment plant system.
The city says it is unable to sustain and continue water treatment and advises residents to conserve water, asking for it to be preserved for firefighting services. The City’s Emergency Operations Centre has been activated and the city said it is preparing contingency plans in the event that the treatment plant does not return to full operating capacity soon. If the city has to bypass the plant, a boil water advisory would be issued.
“The City and BC Hydro are working to get the water treatment plant up and running. Residents and businesses should refrain from using any water until we have it fully operational, Nanaimo Engineering and Public Works Director Bill Sims said in a release.
“The system is not running out of water, but it is important to conserve it for life safety measures such as for firefighting.”
The city issued a “do not use water” advisory and is not a “boil water” advisory. Residents are being asked to reduce water consumption is to avoid laundry, showers, bathing, washing cars, running dishwashers and flushing toilets.
Pools and arenas are closed. The pools are unable to meet health and safety regulations as people will not be able to shower prior to entering the pool. Bathrooms are also not available at the facilities. The ice can’t be cleaned at the arenas.
City officials said the water is safe to drink, but supply is low.
Elsewhere, the Capital Regional District (CRD) said late Thursday night water infrastructure was damaged by downed trees in the Fernwood region of the Highland-Fernwood Water Service Area on Salt Spring Island.
The damage resulted in reduced or no water service for customers and residents in the impacted area are advised to boil drinking water until further notice.
The boil water advisory will be lifted when Island Health is satisfied the drinking water does not pose a health risk and gives the “all clear”.
The CRD says household tap water may be disinfected by a minute of vigorous boiling.
On Friday morning, the CRD said a portion of the Beddis Water Service on Salt Spring Island has reduced or no water service to their homes due to the windstorm. Customers on Sky Valley Road and Lord Mike’s Road will be affected.
There is a boil water advisory in effect for when water service is restored in that area.