02/28/2015 15:53 EST | Updated 04/30/2015 05:59 EDT

Little Burgundy condo residents going on 11 days without water

The residents of three buildings in the Southwest borough have been without running water for 11 days thanks to a frozen city pipe.

Hany Armanious and about 30 other people living near the corner of St-Antoine Street West and Atwater Avenue have been trying their best to make do with what they’ve got.

"It’s really a mess. We can’t do anything. We’re getting water from ice, ice from downstairs and boiling it to get water. That’s what we’re living [with] and it’s horrible," Armanious said.

He said the city is not working fast enough to fix the pipe that brings water into the building.

A letter addressed to the city’s public works department and signed by some of the residents of the three buildings at 2510, 2520 and 2530 St-Antoine W. outlines the difficulties the lack of water has caused.

"There have been loss of wages since people can't go to work, emotional distress for the limited water that we have; we can't cook or wash any dishes or clothes and the sanitary unhealthy situation is disturbing," the letter read.

It also said that people resorted to collecting the snow off their balconies to melt for water to manually flush toilets and perform other household functions, in addition to using bottled water.

City's working on it

Southwest borough spokesman Thierry Larrivée said the city has been doing everything it can to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

He said they’ve tried using a device that sends electrical signals to the pipe that would normally warm it up. Today, he said, they’d try a steam power machine.

"If that doesn’t work we have to dig to reach the pipes, and that’s a bit more invasive," Larrivée said. "It solves the problem, but not necessarily faster."

In the meantime, residents like Ken Steeves have taken to hanging empty two-litre water bottles off the conifer trees outside the building in protest.

"That’s all we’re living on right now, is the bottles of water that the city has provided us," Steeves said.