New Brunswick

Saint John boil water order to continue through weekend

The boil water order in east Saint John continues as repairs and tests on a broken water line are expected to last through the weekend.

The boil water order in east Saint John continues as repairs and tests on a broken water line are expected to last through the weekend.  

Approximately 40,000 residents living east of the Reversing Falls Bridge were asked to boil water for drinking, brushing teeth, making ice and washing vegetables on June 2, after Saint John Water staff detected a break in a chlorine injection line.

The water utility said the break, at the Latimer Lake Water Treatment Facility, meant water might not be properly disinfected.

The boil water advisory continued throughout the week as staff waited for the necessary parts to arrive from Toronto on Friday.

Saint John Water staff said it could take them up to two days to complete the repairs, extending the boil order into Saturday.

Once the line is fixed, new water samples will be taken and tested to determine whether the water is safe to drink.

Paul Groody, the city's Commissioner of Municipal operations, said those tests are expected to take another 24 hours.

"It's a microbiological test," he said. "We expect that that will bring us to sometime Sunday morning."

He said he hoped the boil order could be lifted by Monday.

Must check with medical officer

Groody said the city cannot lift the order until the test samples are shared with Dr. Scott Giffen, the District Medical Officer of Health.

"It will be fairly late on Sunday, we'll be able to go to Dr. Giffen, who we've been consulting with on an ongoing basis," he said. 

"We will give him all the information we have with all the necessary test results, and he'll be able to give us the OK to lift the boil water order."

Groody also said the part that failed had been installed only six months ago, and he expects the manufacturer to pay for the repairs.

Meanwhile, residents like Susan Legacy are hoping things will return to normal by Monday.

Legacy, who is the supervisor of Panda Nursery and Kindergarten, said the staff found ways to provide water for the uptown daycare's 45 toddlers and pre-schoolers.

"We have some staff that live on the west side. We've been bringing water from the west side to work in jugs," she explained. "We can only boil so much water in the run of a day here, and we have only so many big pots, so it helps. It really does."

Legacy said that the most recent boil order was the third in four months. They are starting to become tiresome, she said.