The way a loss of water supply is being handled by management at a Prince Albert apartment complex this week has angered and frustrated some tenants.
A broken pipe Monday at the Weidner run Carlton Park Apartments left residents without water. paNOW has learned after initially providing emergency bottled water during the first few days after the break, they then brought in bulk water tanks Thursday. But the management company did not provide residents with a way of getting that water to their homes.
“There is water provided in the lobby of one of the blocks but they told us they would not give us jugs to transport it,” said a tenant who contacted paNOW on the condition of anonymity. “We pay our rent, we pay tenant insurance, and yet some people feel the lack of water was a violation of their human rights.”
With water reported to be out across the three block complex, scores of families are affected and forced to haul the water back to their homes without proper containers or a way of moving it. The tenant was able to get a few 5-gallon Culligan jugs from a relative, but said many residents couldn’t do that and had been struggling, especially in the bitterly cold weather.
“You have to haul water to fill your toilet, to cook and wash dishes,” the tenant said. “But some residents have no jugs and no way of transporting it. So what are these people supposed to do?”
The resident told paNOW one elderly person had to fill a mop pale four times with snow just to flush the toilet once, a new mum couldn’t leave her baby to carry the water and was distraught by the situation, and kids hadn’t gone to school because they hadn’t been able to wash. She added some people don’t have easy to prepare meals for the microwave and need water to cook.
Another resident who also did not want to be named, lives on the third floor of one of the blocks and told paNOW the personal hygiene situation was getting very difficult.
“I haven’t washed for six days," the resident said. “I’ve never felt so dirty in my entire life. I have a bad back and I need a friend to haul the water up here. The situation is ridiculous.”
Meanwhile, Weidner said later Friday that after bringing in two different contractors the water break had been fixed with two of the three apartment blocks now getting water. The third block would come on line soon as things “thawed out.”
Asked about residents who were left to struggle with hauling the emergency water to their units the last few days, a company spokesman said local and regional staff rotated over a 24/7 basis to offer assistance.
“Not only did they take cases of bottled water to resident’s apartments initially after the break on Tuesday and Wednesday ,” said vice president of public relations Greg Cerbana, “ but when the big water jugs came out Thursday they helped fill some of these and took them to residents.”
Cerbana said while some residents may feel they didn’t get the help they needed “our staff is acutely aware of our responsibility to help out and we feel they did so to the best of their ability.”
Cerbana said the emergency drinking and washing water tanks were positioned in one location to keep them warm based on advice from their vendor who said the water would freeze if they were put elsewhere around the three buildings.
Reacting to the various complaints heard by paNOW he said the company would review the events of the past week.
“Once everybody has water and it’s restored to all buildings we’ll see if there’s anything we could have done better.”
Editor's note: This story was updated at 5:42 p.m. Jan.12 to include comment from Weidner.
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