On Saturday June 4, a fire truck drove around the Village of Granisle warning residents that they would not have running water for about three days.
The reason was because a main water line break had occurred on Upper Fulton Street.
Granisle resident Sonia Clarke has lived in Granisle for 11 years and she said this is the first time she has been without running water for such an extended period of time.
“We’ve been out of water, but we’ve never been out of water overnight,” she said. “This village is going to hell in handbasket; it’s unbelievable.”
After Clarke heard the announcement on June 4, she filled her bathtub and all containers she could find with water.
“We filled up the bathtub and were using that [water] to flush the toilet,” she said.
By Monday June 6, however, she ran completely out of water.
“Can you imagine trying to live in a house without water?” she said. “I haven’t had a shower in days; I’m wondering about the health risks too.”
Clarke said some people in Granisle chose to leave the village for a few days and headed to neighbouring towns such as Smithers.
Clarke and her husband considered going to Prince George for a couple of nights and stay at a hotel. However, since neither of them drive, they would have the added cost of taking a taxi.
“We have to cab, so that’s quite difficult,” she said.
According to Lorna Burkett, Administrative Assistant for the Village of Granisle, a water truck went door-to-door on Monday June 6 with safe potable water, offering 10 gallons of water for each resident. Residents were advised to use water from the local lake for flushing.
In addition, volunteers were door-to-door on Tuesday June 7 notifying residents of when their water would be reinstated.
“We try to notify residents and do the best we can, but we have limited resources,” said Burkett. “We have volunteers that help out in these kinds of situations.”
Running water was restored in all residences in the afternoon of Wednesday, June 8.
The village issued a “precautionary boil water advisory” for the first 36 hours, advising residents to boil water that would be used for domestic purposes for at least two minutes.
Clarke added that some community members have been concerned about the aging infrastructure in Granisle.
Granisle Mayor Linda McGuire said the current infrastructure was designed to last 25 years. Since Granisle was incorporated in 1971, this means that the current infrastructure has been in place for 45 years.
“We continue to apply for grant funding to assist with upgrading our infrastructure,” said McGuire. “In the meantime we continue to repair as needed.”