British Columbia

Nanaimo water treatment plant back to full capacity, water can be used as normal

As of 5 p.m. PT, the City of Nanaimo's water treatment plant has returned to full capacity.

Water treatment plant was knocked out by a powerful storm on Thursday

The City of Nanaimo is asking residents not to use water for all non-essential purposes, including bathing, showers, flushing and laundry. However, it says the water is still safe to drink. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

Power has been restored to the water treatment plant in Nanaimo, B.C., after a powerful storm damaged it Thursday, and residents and businesses can now use water as normal. 

Although there were water restrictions in place on Saturday morning, as of 5 p.m. PT the city's water treatment plant was back to full capacity. 

Residents and businesses are allowed to use water as normal and city pools reopened on Saturday at 5 p.m. 

The City of Nanaimo said the problem was a control device within the plant that malfunctioned during the power outage. That device has since been replaced.

On Friday, the city's director of engineering and public works thanked Nanaimo's 105,000 residents for their efforts in reducing water consumption. 

"Because of these efforts, consumption has been reduced to approximately 50 per cent of our daily average which has allowed us to keep the plant online while we work to resolve the issue," Bill Sims said in a written statement. 

B.C's Auditor General Carole Bellringer releases an audit report, the findings of which she says causes her "grave concern". (CBC)

Powerful storm knocks out water supply

On Thursday, residents in Nanaimo were told not to use water after a powerful storm caused widespread damage.

The City of Nanaimo said the windstorm and power outages knocked out its water treatment plant so it couldn't produce water. Staff said Friday afternoon the facility had begun to produce some water but not enough to meet normal demand.

A tree leans against a home in Nanaimo, B.C. after a severe windstorm hit Vancouver Island on Thursday. The city has been asked to conserve water as a power outage has damaged the local supply plant. (Twitter/NickBoykiw)

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said a generator at the plant failed. Crews were able to restore power, but were still dealing with mechanical issues — first a broken fan belt, and then faults with the generator's electrical circuits.

The city initially asked residents to curtail all water use, including laundry, showers, bathing, washing cars, running dishwashers and other non-essential uses. 

Some restaurants modified their menus and service because of the restrictions.

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