Repair work is underway after the Stz’uminus reservoir lost 500,000 litres of water. (Cole Schisler photo)

Repair work is underway after the Stz’uminus reservoir lost 500,000 litres of water. (Cole Schisler photo)

Ladysmith-area First Nation struggling with major community water loss

Stz’uminus First Nation reservoir loses 500,000 litres due to damaged fire hydrant

A Ladysmith-area First Nation is temporarily struggling to provide drinking water and fire protection in the wake of a major community water leak.

The Stz’uminus First Nation reservoir lost 500,000 litres of water after a damaged fire hydrant was discovered in the Shell Beach area of Stz’uminus.

Due to the water loss, Stz’uminus does not have enough water in the reservoir to safely fight a fire if one broke out. Local fire departments are on standby with pumper trucks in the event of a fire.

In a press release, Stz’uminus said that 33 truckloads of water will be brought in to help refill the reservoir at ‘significant cost’.

“You will notice the water truck crews running 24/7 starting tomorrow [Dec. 15] morning and into the next couple of days,” the release stated.

Stz’uminus organized water delivery for every home starting today. Stz’uminus ordered 300 five-gallon jugs to be delivered to the Community Centre at 9 a.m. Country Grocer delivered 142 flats of bottled water plus four more skids from their warehouse. The first water deliveries went out to Stz’uminus residents around 9:30 a.m.

The First Nations Health Authority issued a boil water advisory to Stz’uminus on the afternoon of Dec. 14. That advisory will be in place until further notice. FNHA will conduct intermittent inspections and will inform Stz’uminus when the advisory is lifted.

Stz’uminus Public Works Department made some repairs on Dec. 14, and flushed the water line. Water has been shut off 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today to finish repairs. Water outages will affect everyone from Shell Beach, Louie Road, the campsite, and down Tideview Road.

A notice will be posted once the water is turned back on and instructions will be included in the notice on how to flush water systems.

45 vulnerable individuals are being taken care of and housed at the Oyster Bay Microtel while repairs are conducted.