NEMI declares state of emergency due to Little Current water issues

Pumping station and area of channel from which water is drawn up to be pumped up to the water treatment plant.

LITTLE CURRENT – The Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands has declared a state of emergency as it scrambles to find the source of the problem causing its Little Current water treatment plant pumps to fail.

As was reported earlier, the municipality issued a Saturday morning warning to Little Current residents and businesses that due to two pump failures, plant reserves were running dangerously low and to stop using water. Soon after, the tank ran dry.

A second backup pump has been installed but Mayor Al MacNevin tells The Expositor that it is failing to meet the demand required of it and the reason is still unknown.

“We declared an emergency to bring all the (community) partners to the table,” Mayor MacNevin said. A community control group meeting will commence at 1:30 pm comprised of municipal staff and management with invitations were also sent to Manitoulin Health Centre, the Centennial Manor, Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board and the Ontario Provincial Police, as well as the water treatment plant contractor, OCWA. A state of emergency also ensures provincial involvement.

“OCWA is the key player here,” the mayor said. “We want to know what is wrong and how long it will be.”

If the water system reaches a state of negative pressure, it will be at least 72 hours of testing before water consumption can resume.

Meanwhile, bottled water is available at the public works garage near the rec. centre or by calling 705-368-2825. Water is also available for fill-up at the Sheguiandah water treatment plant’s outside valve.

Stay tuned to Manitoulin.com for more updates.