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Running water shut off in Craik, Sask.

CRAIK, Sask. – Residents in the town of Craik need to find temporary alternatives to bathing, flushing the toilet and washing the dishes.

Running water in the community of about 450 people has been completely shut off after a section of the water plant flooded in error.

“The floating system didn’t turn off and it flooded our distribution centres,” said Charla Edwards, deputy mayor of Craik. “We’re had to send our pumps and stuff into the city to get dried.”

The water turned off around 12:30 p.m. Sunday and is expected to be off until at least Wednesday.

The nearest public shower is across Highway 11 at the Craik & District Regional Park but there is a $5 fee plus an additional $5 to enter the park for people that don’t own a park pass.

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“People can come and get buckets of water so they’re able to flush their toilets, give themselves a bit of a sponge bath if need be,” said Edwards, regarding a water tank parked beside the town office.

“We’re looking at bringing in some porta-potties into the town just so there are some locations.”

The water shut down is an inconvenience no doubt; however residents are even more frustrated that the town has been under a boil water advisory since 2010.

“It’s just a total inconvenience not to have drinking water. Until you haven’t had it, you don’t realize how bad it is,” said Barry Dixon, a Craik resident for the past 62 years.

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“You can go years and years without and no one cares that it’s a big deal,” said Tom Miller, a resident of the town since 1986.

The water hasn’t been safe to drink since the new water plant was built about five years ago.

On its website the town writes: “Our community built a brand new water plant (sic) a few years ago with a company called “Mainstream Water Solutions” which did not, EVER, work properly.”

“Our town is small and we don’t have the money to come up with $4.3 million that might be a solution,” said Edwards. “I’ve been on council for two years and it’s our top priority. Always a conversation. It’s not that we haven’t been trying for sure.”

However, patience is wearing thin for some residents: “Very frustrated and I just don’t think this council gets it,” said Dixon.

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