Citizens in the tiny southern Interior community of Greenwood, B.C. have been told they can't touch a drop of what's been declared the world's best tap water after someone mysteriously tampered with the city's reservoir.
Greenwood won the title of "World's best municipal water" at the 22nd annual International Water Tasting competition in West Virginia this past winter. The community also bills itself as the smallest city in Canada.
But now the 725 residents are sipping bottled water after the Interior Health authority issued a 'do not use' order for the city's water supply, saying residents shouldn't use the water for anything other than flushing the toilet.
Mayor Nipper Kettle said sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday evening someone broke the brass padlock and hinge on the city reservoir.
"We really have no idea what actually happened. We had to contact Interior Health because one never know, I mean it could be sabatoge, it could just be an act of vandalism, or it could be someone having a grudge. It could be anything at this point in time," said Kettle.
Kettle said at first glance it didn't look like the water in the reservoir had been contaminated, but the system is being flushed and samples have been sent to Interior Health, as well as labs in Kelowna and Richmond for testing.
He said they expect the results back by sometime Thursday.
Until then, Kettle insists his city's reputation as having the best tap water in the world is intact.
"It's not the water source. The water source is still protected. It's still the best 'Greenwood gold' water in the world!"
"Somebody could be holding that against us because we have the world's best water, I don't know! Everything at this point is pure speculation," said Kettle.
"I suspect though it's probably copper thieves or something like that, that went up there probably to see if there was anything inside."