Ottawa

City urges boaters to stay off the Ottawa River

The City of Ottawa is asking boaters to stay off the water to prevent waves from breaching sandbags surrounding flooded properties along the Ottawa River.

Debris can pose safety risks, waves can breach sandbags

Two men stand on a catwalk to take photos as the Ottawa River runs high beneath the Chaudiere Bridge. The City of Ottawa is asking boaters to stay off the river to prevent sandbags from being breached. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Pres)

The City of Ottawa is asking boaters to stay off the water to prevent waves from breaching sandbags surrounding flooded properties along the Ottawa River. 

Boaters are being asked to treat the shorelines of the river as no-wake zones along Fitzroy Harbour, Constance Bay, Armitage, Crystal Bay, Britannia, and Cumberland, according to a public service announcement issued Saturday.

The city also warned that debris can pose a hazard to boaters. 

Gatineau request denied

The City of Gatineau had previously asked the Quebec government to prohibit navigation on the Ottawa River, but their request was denied after the province consulted with Transport Canada.

The warning comes after the worst flood in decades displaced hundreds of people in Ontario and Quebec, including the national capital region.

Water levels have already started to recede in many of the affected areas as municipalities turn their attention to recovery efforts. 

Well water warning

In another public service announcement Saturday, Ottawa Public Health urged people whose wells are affected by flooding to neither drink nor use the water until it's been tested and proven safe.

Wells may be unsafe to use if they're surrounded by flood water, if the well head is below the water level, or if the owner's basement is flooded, public health said.

Water sample bottles can be picked up and later dropped off for testing at the city's three emergency community support centres:

  • R.J. Kennedy Arena, 1115 Dunning Rd.
  • Constance and Buckham's Bay Community Centre, 262 Len Purcell Dr.
  • Royal Canadian Legion 616, 377 Allbirch Rd.

Samples can be dropped off at the centres between noon and 8 p.m., as well as on Tuesdays at the normal municipal water drop-off centres.

Results arrive within two to four business days, health officials said.​

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