Thousands without Drinking Water in Quebec

March 29, 2005

Thousands of residents in seven municipalities in central Quebec were without drinking water on Monday after problems with the local water system.

"We didn't want to take any chances," said Clement Dubois, mayor of Nicolet, a town of about 8,000 south of Trois-Rivieres. "We went right to an order of prohibition."

Five years ago in Walkerton, Ont., contaminated water killed seven people and make 2,500 sick.

About another 3,000 to 4,000 people in the surrounding municipalities who are served by the same water system are also affected and cannot drink from their taps.

Although water pipes have been replaced, residents were told not to drink tap water until at least Wednesday, Dubois said. The provincial laboratories that test water samples for contamination did not reopen until today because of the holiday Easter weekend.

The affected municipalities have tanker trucks supplying drinking water at various places to allow people to fill plastic containers with water. Local stores are stocking up on extra bottled water.

Restaurants also are facing challenges to serve their customers. One waitress said the restaurant where she works is getting its water from numerous large plastic jugs and containers.

Source: Canadian Press

Image by Burnham RNG, courtesy twentytwo & brand.