Campus closure, water restrictions after vandalism near NSCC and CBU water tower

The meters will eliminate the need for city vehicles and workers to drive around collecting readings and will instead allow both the city and the consumer to view their water usage online at any time. The hope is Regina residents, and the city can detect water leaks as soon as possible, as well as cut down on overall usage. File Photo / Getty Images

Vandalism at a water tower compound in Cape Breton has led to the closure of the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Marconi campus in Sydney for a second day.

The Nova Scotia Department of Environment has issued a non-consumption order for the campus and Cape Breton University (CBU), which also uses the tower until test results come back and show the water is safe.

READ: Vandals cause $500K in damage at Nova Scotia construction site

“It’s a precaution. We want to make sure the water is safe and our campus community is safe,” said Kathleen Cameron, the manager of external affairs at NSCC.

Cameron said the vandalism was discovered on Wednesday morning and it’s believed it took place overnight.

“That’s when we reached out to police and asked for testing just in case,” she said. “We also flagged that for [the Department of Environment] and they reached out to the Nova Scotia chief medical officer,” she said.
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A spokesperson for the Cape Breton Regional Police said they received a report on Wednesday that the locks on the gates to the water tower and water treatment facility had been damaged.

“Officers attended and are investigating to determine who is responsible for breaking the locks. There is nothing to indicate any entry into the treatment facility building and nothing was stolen from the property,” said Desiree Vassallo in an email.

NSCC plans to re-open the Marconi campus on Friday and has brought in bottled water for staff and students. Food services will not be open on Friday.

“We have over 1,000 students and staff there,” Cameron said. “It’s quite a large building and quite a large undertaking.”

Similarly, CBU has suspended its food services and is offering bottled water to students living in residences.

Meanwhile, police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call them at 902-563-5151 or submit a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers.

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