Discoloured water frustrates Winnipeg woman
Posted: Sep 20, 2012 6:43 PM CT
Last Updated: Sep 20, 2012 7:37 PM CT
A Winnipeg woman says she no longer trusts the safety of the city's water supply, after filthy brown water flowed from her taps more than a dozen times this summer.
St. James resident Nicole Bowering told CBC News she is nervous about letting her two young children drink tap water these days.
"I'm always nervous. I'm always checking before I give my kids a drink. I'm filling up a large glass to make sure that it's clean," she said Thursday.
Earlier this week, city officials said drier than usual conditions this past year have been causing more water main breaks and cases of discoloured water.
Those water main breaks change the flow of water through pipes and, as a result, loosen the sediment and other material that build up in those pipes.
The loosened material ends up in the water, giving it a discoloured look for people who live or work near the water main breaks.
"Winnipeg's soil is very dry and shrinking, causing water main pipes to shift and break," a city spokesperson said in an email.
"City crews have been dealing with three times as many water main breaks in August and September this year compared to normal. More water main breaks are likely if the dry weather continues."
Has submitted claim to city
Bowering said she has complained to the City of Winnipeg and even submitted a claim to cover her expenses, which include laundry that she says was ruined as a result of the discoloured water.
She added that city staff had told her to run her taps for five to 10 minutes at a time to clear out the water lines, but she said that has led to a $20 increase in her water bill since May.
However, Bowering said the city has told her it's not responsible for damage caused by the quality of water unless it does not meet safety standards.
"I just feel like no one's taking responsibility," she said.
"They're saying they haven't been negligent. They're saying that it's not their fault; it's extenuating circumstances."
The city spokesperson said staff are trying to contact Bowering and will do what they can to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
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