Officials say the DO NOT USE water advisory for the village of Meath Park was issued after someone broke in and stole the pump from the water plant.
On Tuesday the Water Security Agency (WSA) urged residents not to attempt to treat their supply and to use bottled water only for drinking and cooking.
“The water plant was broken into and a pump was stolen,” Patrick Boyle, a spokesperson with the agency told paNOW. “The plant operator observed what appeared to be lubricant on the floor from the stolen pump. Any time there’s a chance of the system being compromised, we issue an advisory out of an abundance of caution.”
Boyle said the village needed to flush the entire system and then a series of water tests would be conducted every 24 hours before the all clear is given.
The village followed that protocol and by Wednesday some progress was made with the agency’s advisory being downgraded, although the water is still not fit for human consumption.
“We did flush our lines and reservoirs, and have sent two samples off for testing, so residents can now use the water for bathing and washing clothes,” Mayor Michael Hydamacka told paNOW. “But we’re still not able to drink or cook with it yet.”
He said he hoped the water would be given the all-clear by Friday at the earliest although the WSA said it could take until early next week. He added the village was already moving to enhance security at the plant after the locks were broken.
In the meantime, residents need to remain on bottled water. Jobina Comeau, who works at Humphrey’s Tavern, said they saw an increase in business.
“We always have the large and smaller bottles in stock, and at times like this we keep on top of it,” she said.
Bottled water is not required at the Meath Park school as it has its own large tank. Potable water is being brought in to fill that.
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