People in Halifax are being warned to conserve water, not to save money but to avoid a boil order as the water utility upgrades a transmission line this weekend.

Nearly two kilometres of pipeline from the Pockwock water supply has to be replaced, affecting customers on the peninsula and in Clayton Park.

While the work is completed on the weekend, Halifax’s water will come from Dartmouth via a line along the MacDonald Bridge. 

But the replacement supply is limited so if Halifax customers don't reduce the amount they use the unfiltered Chain Lake back-up supply will kick in, prompting a boil order.

"If Chain Lake is operated, where it's an unfiltered system we have to issue a boil water advisory. Boil for at least one minute," said Halifax Water Commission spokesman James Campbell.

Halifax Water suggests people avoid doing laundry, washing their cars or filling their pools until the upgrade is done on Monday.

Small businesses worry about boil order

Susan Richard runs a dog grooming business on Quinpool Road and said Saturday is normally her busiest day.

"We’re talking 10 gallons of water per dog.  I won't water the lawn or water the plants, that's about all we can do," she said.

Cindy Wheatley runs the Boneheads BBQ on Dutch Village Road and said she hopes everybody who can will cut back so she won't have to boil all the water needed for cooking and cleaning.

"We only have four burners so we don't have a lot of room even to do that," she said.

The project starts Friday night and should be completed by Monday.

The Pockwock Lake reservoir is the main one serving the Halifax side of the city; about two-thirds of people who use Halifax Water get it from Pockwock.