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Boil water advisory lifted for The Pas


The water advisory for the Town of The Pas has been lifted.
The notice of the advisory being lifted was posted by the Town to the Town’s social media pages at just after 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, officially putting an end to the issue with the water which lasted from just after midnight on Friday to Wednesday afternoon, a span of nearly five days.
Sam Mirza, Town of The Pas Municipal Superintendent, stated the Town “isn’t out of the woods yet” as the main pump which is used to operate the treatment plant is still in Winnipeg for repairs, something that would take a few weeks yet. Despite this, things are much better than they were a week ago.
Additional water lines have been set up to draw water into the treatment plant from the river overland and those lines have been secured more, including placement of barriers around the lines and the hiring of security to monitor the lines. There are also now two overland pumps drawing water from the river instead of just one when the failure occurred leading to the boil water advisory.
The water advisory occurred following the overland water line being struck by a person on a bicycle last Thursday, a collision which resulted in the line going down and repairs not being able to be done in time before the treatment plants holding well running dry.
Mirza stated the Town is exploring the idea of running thicker gauge pipe to make it sturdier and also is trying to shorten the distance the water is being pumped overland to the treatment plant.
The situation has had its bright sides though. Numerous members of the public residing in the R.M. of Kelsey as well as Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) have opened their water lines and homes to residents of The Pas to have access to clean drinking water, while Mirza stated the R.M. of Kelsey, OCN, the province and Canadian Kraft Paper Industries have all came forward to offer assistance to the Town as well.
Mirza stated the two pumps will remain by the shore of the Saskatchewan River drawing water until the main pump is returned from Winnipeg.
The Town of The Pas council praised the efforts of the Town’s staff on Wednesday night during a regularly scheduled Town council meeting, thanking them for their efforts and long hours put in during the crisis.
A total of four sets of water samples were sent out for verification that the water was once again safe for consumption over a period of several days, all coming back reporting good findings.
Mirza added that people are now safe to drink the Town’s water again and that while it’s never a bad idea to flush your lines it should be safe without as the Town has also been flushing the water mains as part of the efforts to get the boil water advisory lifted.
“If you were on vacation and just coming back it’s always a good idea to run your lines but our crews have been flushing and they should be done flushing today (Wednesday) and we’re confident that we’re all good.”
Mirza also tipped his hat to the public for their cooperation during the situation, noting there were few complaints filed during the five days the water was done. Mirza added part of the credit for this lies with Town staff who were prompt in relaying information to the public about what was going on throughout the water advisory.

Trent Allen