Drinking water advisory issued after construction accident in Hamilton

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Published May 23, 2024 at 2:04 pm

A drinking water advisory is in place after a construction damaged a water main in Hamilton.

The advisory was issued after a residential waterline was damaged by an excavator during work to repair the sewers on Woodworth Drive East in Ancaster. A Hamilton Water contractor was working on a private sewer lateral (the pipe connecting a home to the city sewer) when the excavator also struck the waterline by mistake.

This resulted in a loss of pressure in the waterline which potentially contaminated the neighbourhood water supply. However, the water main was quickly shut down and isolated. Hamilton Water insists they believe this action protected area residents.

The city’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson issued the advisory after the incident for 21 homes in the neighbourhood. Hamilton Water then handed out a notice to each home in the area to inform them of the advisory on May 21. They also brought potable water to the homes for residents to use and drink.

Around 11 p.m. that night water service was restored. However, it remains non-potable or not fit for human consumption. Hamilton Water is going through the process of cleaning and testing the water supply as specified by Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks and Hamilton Public Health Services.

“Hamilton Water staff are working quickly and diligently to finalize a restoration plan that will allow the advisory to be lifted,” the city wrote, “Affected residences should not consume tap water until the advisory is lifted. However, tap water may be used safely for other household needs such as showering, flushing toilets, laundry and hand washing.”

This is an important measure to ensure the safety of residents as Hamilton Water works quickly and diligently to restore drinking water supply for these 21 residences”, said Hamilton Water Director Nick Winters.

“We are asking that residents use the potable water provided by Hamilton Water for drinking or for activities when water could be swallowed until we and our partners are satisfied that the advisory can be lifted. Using bottled water is also an alternative for drinking water,” he continued, “We recognize the concern and inconvenience residents are experiencing and appreciate their patience, as we work to get safe drinking water restored to their neighbourood.”

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