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UPDATE: Ban on non-essential water use in Edmonton region continues, repairs underway: EPCOR

A timeline for when repairs are expected to be finished is not currently known, EPCOR says.

A mandatory ban on non-essential water use for Edmonton area residents and businesses, including St. Albert, remains in place on Tuesday, but EPCOR says repairs are underway.

The ban was put in place on Monday afternoon after the company announced an equipment failure at the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant, one of two plants that supply's the Edmonton region's water. The equipment failure means that until repairs are completed, just EPCOR's Rossdale Treatment Plant is supplying water to the region.

“EPCOR has begun repairs at the E.L Smith Water Treatment Plant in an effort to return to normal operations,” the company said in a statement this morning. “A timeline for the full repair is currently not available.”

The company's Tuesday announcement does say that “a noticeable reduction” in water usage was achieved after the ban was announced, but residents and businesses need to still reduce water usage in every way possible.

“Over 300 businesses with high water usage and non-essential operations were contacted on Monday and EPCOR would like to extend a large thank you to these customers as they reduced consumption to essential use or completely halted operations,” the announcement reads. “EPCOR recognizes that for many residents and businesses this is a significant inconvenience, but for some businesses there are real financial impacts.”

EPCOR is also reiterating that water quality is not impacted by the equipment failure.

On Monday afternoon the City of St. Albert also enacted its water demand management measures, which largely instructs city staff to stop certain activities that use lots of water, such as fire hydrant flushing, outdoor rink flooding, pool filling, and more. 

City spokesperson Cory Sinclair said in an email on Tuesday that the city is working with EPCOR to monitor water usage.

“The City will be monitoring the situation with EPCOR and should voluntary compliance within St. Albert not have the desired results, formal bans and enforcement actions under [the city's Water and Water Conservation Bylaws] may be considered,” Sinclair said.

Contraventions under the city's Water Conservation Bylaw, which dictates the process for how the city can enact water demand management measures like those enacted yesterday, can result in a fine of up to $100.00.

EPCOR will be holding a media availability this afternoon, and the Gazette will report on any additional information and updates.

Jack Farrell

About the Author: Jack Farrell

Jack Farrell joined the St. Albert Gazette in May, 2022.
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