Nanaimo water plant begins repairs, conservation still urged
Saturday, December 22, 2018, 3:00 PM - Power has been restored to the water treatment plant in Nanaimo, B.C., after a powerful storm damaged it on Thursday, but officials continue to advise residents to conserve water.
On Saturday morning the City of Nanaimo said limited household water use is okay, despite continued troubleshooting on the facility.
The city said that means residents can take short showers and businesses can serve coffee. The water is safe to drink.
Car washes should still refrain from operating, however. City pools will also remain closed until further notice, but arenas will open up with reduced ice cleaning.
On Friday, the city's director of engineering and public works thanked Nanaimo's 105,000 residents for their efforts in reducing water consumption.
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)
"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.
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 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. Credit: Steve Lawrence/CBC
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.
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.
This article originally written for the CBC.