Manitoba community complains of bad water

Frozen pipes force remote Manitoba community to drink from contaminated lake.

After three weeks of no access to clean, running water, people in Granville Lake, Man., are walking 200 kilometres to meet with provincial officials to complain about their situation.

Frozen pipes have been blamed for the problem that has caused the population of 96 to draw their drinking water directly from the sewage-infested lake.

Adding to their woes is a malfunctioning sewage system, with waste oozing out of the ground and entering the lake.

Residents told CBC TV that the lake contamination has caused their children to develop skin rashes, diarrhea and other ailments.

Granville is on the south shore of Granville Lake in northern Manitoba. Many of the people belong to the Mathias Colomb Indian Band from Pukatawagan.

Oscar Lathlin, Manitoba's Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, said he is aware of the problem and that plumbers would be arriving Wednesday to fix the frozen pipes.

Albert DeVilliers, the area's medical officer, says Granville Lake has been under a boil-water advisory for more than two years.

Manitoba built a new water system in the community three years ago and plans to build a new water treatment plant in a couple of years.