Manitoba

Busted pipe leaves residents in Little Grand Rapids with no water

Some residents living in Little Grand Rapids, Man., have no running water for the fourth day in a row.

Residents relying on bottled water, tanks until issue fixed

People in Little Grand Rapids have had no water from the community's water plant since last Thursday. (iStock)

Water is expected to flow again Monday evening for residents in Little Grand Rapids, Man., who have gone without running taps for four days.

"It's a dire need for the people," Little Grand Rapids Chief Raymond Keeper said Monday afternoon.

Keeper, who was in Winnipeg Monday, said his community's brand new water treatment plant stopped working ⁠— the latest in a series of problems that have plagued the plant ⁠— forcing residents to rely on bottled water or tanks that already had water in them.

He said the community's leaders have tried to get bottled water into the First Nation from the Red Cross until the problem is solved, but the agency has not been deployed.

Filling pails with water

Resident Clifford Keeper Jr. told CBC News that tap water in the community stopped working last Thursday evening after a pipe broke at the water plant.

One-third of the community has no running water, and many resorted to going to the lake to fill pails with water, Keeper wrote in a Facebook message.

Landline phones in the community were also malfunctioning over the last several days, but Bell MTS said service was restored Monday afternoon.

Little Grand Rapids is a remote fly-in community located about 265 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. (Google Maps)

Clifford is one of the residents with a water holding tank and said relatives have been coming over to bathe.

"I have to try and conserve how much water I use, so yeah it's kinda hectic," he said.

A contractor who's been in the community since Monday morning expects to restore water service by 8 p.m., said Indigenous Services Canada spokesperson William Olscamp.

The First Nation has requested that Canadian Red Cross ship drinking water to the community if service isn't restored by 6 p.m.

Olscamp said Little Grand Rapids First Nation's water treatment plant has endured "minor" work since it was completed this spring, noting the department provided $16.7 million for the project.

Little Grand Rapids is a fly-in community located about 265 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

About the Author

​Austin Grabish started reporting when he was young, landing his first byline when he was just 18. He joined CBC in 2016 after freelancing for several outlets. ​​In 2018, he was part of a team of CBC journalists who won the Ron Laidlaw Award for the corporation's extensive digital coverage on asylum seekers crossing into Canada. Email: austin.grabish@cbc.ca