Boil water © Can Stock Photo / joebelanger© Can Stock Photo / joebelanger

Bottled water coming for Wheatley, Tilbury residents under boil water advisory

Residents of Wheatley and Tilbury currently under a boil water advisory will soon be getting free bottled water, if they need it.

More details are expected on Thursday.

Chatham-Kent Council approved a motion from Ward 1 Councilor Lauren Anderson to provide bottled water to those residents and the cost be referred to the Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission (CKPUC) for consideration.

CKPUC General Manager Tim Sunderland told Council the water system is close to becoming stable.

Sunderland previously said the advisory will be in effect until public health receives additional information regarding the stability of the water system.

Sunderland said last week's test results came back clear and this week's test results should be available on Thursday.

According to Chatham-Kent's General Manager of Health and Family Services April Rietdyk, two clear samples are needed within 24 hour before the boil water advisory is lifted.

The municipality estimates 8,000 people are under the boil water advisory.

Anderson said the decision to hand out bottled water isn't because the water quality has deteriorated or the water hasn't been safe to boil and use over the last 14 days, it's because people are just tired of boiling water and it's inconvenient.

"It's been a long and taxing couple of weeks especially for people who have a vulnerable population or those who have multiple children. It's just gotten to be a lot that supplying bottled water would show good faith," said Anderson. "Get a truck, bring it to the arena and say come and get water if you need it. That would be more than enough for anyone to go and get it. If someone needed to grab it for their elderly neighbour that maybe doesn't drive, then they would. We're a pretty tight-knit community and I'm sure that we would not need to distribute it. Everyone in Wheatley and Tilbury would gladly help their neighbour if they couldn't get there to get it."

Sunderland added the PUC has never before provided bottled water for residents under a boil water advisory.

The boil water advisory has been in place for Wheatley and Tilbury for two weeks and Sunderland told Council that's the longest boil water advisory he can remember in the municipality for such a large area.

Chatham-Kent Chief Administrative Officer Michael Duben said the municipality has bought $70,000 dollars worth of bottled water so far and has distributed some of it to vulnerable groups, such as long-term care homes, the Wheatley Resource Centre, and the Tilbury Food Bank.

The Wheatley Water Treatment Plant is expected to be down for a year or longer.

The boil water advisory remains in place because of low water pressure.

Under the boil water advisory, tap water can be consumed after bringing it to a rolling boil for one minute.

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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