Winnipeg is under a boil water advisory as a precautionary measure.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority issued the advisory late Tuesday afternoon, saying two clusters positive water tests turned up E. coli. The original advisory was only for those located east of the Red River, but it has now been expanded to include the entire city.
There is no source of contamination identified, but the investigation is ongoing.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we are issuing it citywide,” Mayor Brian Bowman told a hastily called news conference Tuesday evening.
“Hopefully we will find out that these were false positives tomorrow and very soon thereafter we will be able to lift this notice, but we do need to be cautious.”
Adam Schinkel, co-owner of Water World, a bottled water company, said his stores had closed for the day when the news broke.
“I got home around six o’clock, my phone started to blow up and all I was told was there was a boil-water advisory issued citywide in Winnipeg,” he said.
Schinkel said he started making calls and staff at the stores quickly headed back to reopen.
All residents should be advised that until further notice, all water should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute before it is used for:
- Drinking and ice making
- Beverage preparation, such as infant formula
- Preparing food
- Brushing teeth
It is not necessary to boil tap water used for other household purposes, such as laundry or washing dishes. Adults and older children that are able to avoid swallowing the water can wash, bathe, or shower. Young children should be sponge bathed. If boiling is not feasible, an alternate and safe supply of water should be used; i.e. bottled water.
— With files from The Canadian Press / ChrisD.ca video