(Chatham-Kent Fire and Rescue photo)

Municipality provides update on damage at Wheatley Water Treatment Plant

Chatham-Kent said it continues to assess damage caused by a fire at the water treatment plant in Wheatley last week.

Firefighters responded to the Wheatley Water Treatment Plant on Detroit Line at around 1:30 p.m. last Wednesday after a blaze broke out in the generator room. Following the fire, significant damage was caused, rendering the facility not operational.

A boil water advisory remains in effect as of Monday evening due to a loss in water pressure through the distribution system. The Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission (PUC) said water samples taken from the distribution system on Monday are being expedited.

An investigation into the structure of the treatment plant itself is ongoing. Structural engineers are on-site assessing the damage, and a restoration team is ready to begin decontamination to make the site safe for contractors to begin repairs once they are permitted to enter again.

“We continue to gather information on the extent of the damage and will be providing a timeline for restoration of full service as soon as possible,” PUC General Manager Tim Sunderland said in a statement.

Residents in Wheatley and Tilbury will continue to experience low water pressure for the time being, and customers served by the South Water Treatment Plant, which serves Blenheim, Merlin, Coatsworth, Shrewsbury, Rondeau, and Erieau, are asked to conserve water until further notice.

While the Boil Water Advisory remains in place, tap water can be consumed after bringing it to a rolling boil for one minute. The advisory will be in effect until CK Public Health receives additional information regarding the stability of the water system.

Updated information on the Boil Water Advisory can be accessed by calling the Water Advisory Update Line at 519-436-3240.

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