Falmouth water customers are having a rough day.
A water main break in Falmouth has left several customers in the community without water access. But even for those who can turn on their taps, they probably shouldn’t. A water boil advisory was put out by the municipality several hours following a break on March 12.
Brad Carrigan, director of public works for the Municipality of West Hants said crews are actively searching for the source of the break.
“We had a significant break last night at about 3:30 a.m.,” Carrigan said. “The plant alarm signalled us, but we lost a significant amount of water in the reservoir, in the standpipe.”
Due to the lack of water in the standpipe, because of the water main break, the water quality personnel chose to enact a water boil advisory as a precaution as water is being pumped directly from the water plant.
“Not that there’s anything wrong with the water, but it gives an extra layer of protection,” he said. “When we put water in the tank, there’s a certain amount of chlorine time it receives, but when we’re running direct from the plant to produce water, it doesn’t get the same kind of contact time.”
Carrigan said two or three days of clean samples are required before the advisory can be lifted.
In terms of finding the source of the water main break, Carrigan said they’re currently excavating sites to try to narrow down the location of the break. They’re working with public works staff from the town of Windsor for assistance.
“We’ve got all of our forces out there, this is our number one issue right now,” he said.
Carrigan said the entire utility has been impacted with reduced pressure and homes that are at a higher elevation are likely to have a more difficult time getting water pressure until the main break is fixed.
There are approximately 800 water utility customers in Falmouth.
Carrigan said they would notify the public as soon as the situation is rectified.
“The municipality of course wants to apologize to everybody for the inconvenience and we’re working diligently around the clock to get this working,” he added.
The municipality has advised that all Falmouth Water Utility consumers boil all water for two minutes before drinking, making ice cubes, washing foods, brushing teeth or any other activity requiring consumption until further notice.
The water utility, Nova Scotia Environment and the Medical Officer of Health are continuing to monitor the water quality closely and are working in close consultation.
Fact sheets on water usage during Boil Water Advisory are available here.