ALBERTA

Lethbridge Boil Water Order Lifted, State Of Emergency Ends

03/14/2014 02:38 EDT | Updated 05/14/2014 05:59 EDT
Grady Coppell via Getty Images
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - Tap water is again safe to drink and a state of emergency has been lifted in the southern Alberta city of Lethbridge which had been facing an extreme water shortage.

A fast snow melt due to suddenly higher temperatures had made water from the Oldman River too murky to process at the treatment plant and storage levels quickly fell.

The city announced just after noon Friday that reserves had been mostly restored and that residents and businesses no longer needed to conserve and boil water.

"It's because of those efforts that we've been able to recover from this water emergency so quickly," said Doug Hawkins, the city's director of infrastructure services.

"The water levels in storage throughout the community have been mostly restored. Our production capacity is up to snuff."

The city said drinking water could have a different taste or odour, but was potable.

Arenas were slated to reopen and pools were again welcoming swimmers.

Health-care facilities were returning to normal operations and officials assured citizens there was enough water to meet fire protection needs in the city and surrounding communities.

Earlier this week, water in the city's reservoir dipped to critically low levels. At the time, officials weren't sure how long the crisis might last.

But everyone went above and beyond, said Mayor Chris Spearman.

"Our residential customers, our businesses, our industries all made significant sacrifices," Spearman said.

"It was through those sacrifices, through the reduction in demand, that we were able to get ahead of the issue and be able to restore the system more quickly than originally anticipated."

(CJOC)

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