A large swath of the Pembina Valley Water Co-op's (PVWC) service area is set to fall under an extended boil water advisory later this month.
Starting September 11th, crews will get to work connecting the new potable reservoir and pumping system at the Letellier treatment plant to the facility's two existing distribution lines. This will require the pipes to be cut and the lines to become depressurized, forcing the boil water order. 

"This is one of the final pieces for our new reservoir and building that's being completed as part of a longer-term project to bring more potable water to the region," explained Matthew Jones, Director of Engineering for the PVWC. 

"Any time the pipeline is cut or depressurized, it's standard procedure to put the network on a boil water advisory. And that's just to ensure public safety and to make sure there's nothing in the drinking water that shouldn't be there," added Jones. 

The work is scheduled to start Monday, September 11th and is expected to take between 5 and 7 days to complete. This includes 2-3 days for the pipeline tie-ins, and 3-4 days for the necessary testing/sampling that needs to happen before the boil water advisory can be rescinded. 

Affected municipalities and rural water coops are:

RM of Montcalm

Town of Altona

Altona Rural Water Coop

Halbstadt Marais Water Coop

Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation

RM of Stanley (portion)

Municipality of Rhineland

Municipality of Emerson Franklin

Blumengart Colony

Meantime, the City of Winkler will make some of its potable water supply available in order to maintain service to the Boundary Trails Health Centre, a few homes between Winkler and Morden as well as the villages of Schanzenfeld and Reinfeld. 

"We're really fortunate where we've got an excellent relationship with the City of Winkler, and we'll help each other out in times like this," stated Jones. "(This) has helped us to keep the affected area smaller than it would have been."

In the days leading up to the advisory which, again, takes effect Monday, September 11th, residents are encouraged to stock up on bottled water to be used for consumption. 

A formal notice is being hashed out with the province's Office of Drinking water and with it, several fact sheets outlining what to do while the order is in effect. PembinaValleyOnline will also make those details available as the date draws closer. 

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