By The Canadian Press
SWAN RIVER, Man. – Volunteers were ferrying water to seniors and others Monday as a town of almost 4,000 people in west-central Manitoba continued to cope with problems in the wells that feed its reservoir.
“We had a lot of requests for volunteers,” said Lance Jacobson, deputy mayor of Swan River, Man. “We’ve had outstanding support from community service groups and individuals.”
On Sunday, officials in Swan River, about 500 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, declared a state of emergency.
“Pressure in the system has been reduced and a total loss of water throughout the town is imminent,” the town said in a notice on its website.
Crews managed to get one of the town’s water wells flowing, but multiple problems in multiple wells remain and water use in the community has been restricted.
“We’re under conservation,” Jacobson said Monday. “The public is still quite aware that they cannot use water in a regular way.”
No boil-water advisory was issued. But residents were being asked to restrict using water for bathing and cleaning and to flush toilets only when absolutely necessary.
Bottled water was being supplied at the town hall. Portable toilets were also set up.
Public services were also affected. Schools and daycares were closed and the town’s pool and arena were shut down.
Crews were on their way to the town to address the well problem. But workers were faced with not being able to complete the fix until the town’s reservoir was refilled from the only well that was working, Jacobson said.
He said that wasn’t likely to happen until Wednesday.
Meanwhile, water was flowing — if slowly — if people turned on their taps, Jacobson said.
“They still receive water in their homes. We’re just urging them to restrict that usage as much as they possibly can,” he said. “The quicker we can get that reservoir filled and those pumps repaired, the quicker we can get back to normal.”
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said the city is on standby if needed.
“Thoughts go out to our neighbours to the North West in Swan River, MB,” he posted on Twitter. “Our officials remain ready to help the province’s efforts if & when requested.”