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Tofino urges residents to drastically reduce water consumption after leak discovered

Leak discovered during a routine water source inspection on Meares Island
Tofino is urging residents and businesses to limit their water use on Thursday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Westerly file photo)

Tofino’s water woes continue this week as the district is further urging residents and businesses to drastically reduce their water consumption after a leak was discovered in the submarine pipeline that brings water to the community from Meares Island.

The district issued a statement around 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening “calling on all residents and businesses to significantly reduce water consumption” while repairs are made on Thursday.

“On Wednesday, June 7, during a routine water source inspection on Meares Island in the Haahuulthii of the Tla-o-qui-aht Ha’wiih, crews identified a leak,” the statement reads. “In order to isolate and repair the leak, water distribution will be impacted, and a partial shutdown of our water system is required between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 8. We are asking residents and businesses to restrict their use of water during this period.”

The district is currently under Stage 2 water restrictions, which prohibit outdoor watering to food plants using a handheld canister or a hose with an automatic shutoff and announced a 20 per cent reduction challenge to further conserve the resource on June 1.

The current restrictions prohibit the watering of gardens or lawns, washing vehicles, boats and wetsuits as well as outdoor showers.

“The restrictions are necessary to ensure adequate reserves for fire protection. During this time, all public showers will be shut off. We are asking community members and visitors to restrict their water use to an absolute minimum,” the statement reads. “The District is calling on the community to work together to conserve water for this temporarily vulnerable period in order to avoid further restrictions. We acknowledge that the impacts of the wildfire at Cameron Lake are being felt by the community and we appreciate your further support and understanding at this time.”

The statement suggests a public notice will be issued once the repairs are complete.

“The pipeline repair will strengthen the resilience of Tofino’s water system by maximizing water collected on Meares Island, protected by Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks in the Haahuulthii of the Tla-o-qui-aht Ha’wiih, ⁠and will ensure that our resources will last longer throughout the summer,” it reads. “We appreciate your cooperation as we repair this critical piece of infrastructure.”

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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