Neighbourhood’s water safe again, city says after 8-month disruption
Water is expected to flow freely in a few weeks through the underground pipes connecting to 10 homes in the Aspen Ridge neighbourhood.
The city has lifted the advisory warning not to use water from the city’s pipes for bathing or drinking, said Angela Gardiner, the City of Saskatoon’s acting director of transportation and utilities.
City staff discovered hydrocarbons in fire hydrants near the homes in January, prompting the installation of above-ground hoses to connect the homes to the city’s water supply.
Gardiner thanked residents for their patience.
“We understand it’s been a long eight-month process,” she told reporters at city hall on Friday. “This is an unprecedented situation for the city.”
Originally, the city provided bottled water and allowed the affected residents access to city recreation centres to shower. In February, the city installed the temporary water connection. The city still hasn’t found the source of the hydrocarbons, but it’s an “asphalt-based substance,” Gardiner said. A similar type of hydrocarbon was found in hydrants in the Rosewood neighbourhood earlier this year.
Hydrocarbons are one of the main components of petroleum and natural gas.
Gardiner confirmed that one theory the people investigating the contamination are looking at is whether it can be traced back to the manufacturer of the hydrants. The hydrants in both areas are new, she said.
“The city ’s investigation into the source of the contaminant is ongoing, although it has been identified as an asphalt-based product,” Gardiner said.
The city contracted Stantec to inspect and clean the water pipes. No hydrocarbons were discovered other than those in the hydrants.
The city lifted the water warning for the Rosewood Commercial area in August.
Susan Serrano stands near a city hydrant outside her home in Saskatoon’s Aspen Ridge neighbourhood. Residents were warned not to use municipal water for drinking or bathing after hydrocarbons were found in the hydrants in January.