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Major water service interruption for some Vernon, B.C., residents due to water main break

Many residents in the Greater Vernon area will be dealing with a water service interruption starting Thursday night due to emergency repair job to fix a water main leak.
Many residents in the Greater Vernon area will be dealing with a water service interruption starting Thursday night due to emergency repair job to fix a water main leak. File/Getty Images

An emergency repair job on a water main in the Greater Vernon area means a 24-hour water shutoff for some customers in the city’s BX area.

The customers affected are on the north BX pump station.

Read more: Dozens of Kelowna area properties placed on boil water notice

“We are expecting to turn off the water…beginning at 11:00 tonight,” said John Lord, manager of water distribution with Greater Vernon Water (GVW).  “We will be doing the work overnight.”

The water main break is located in an early point of the distribution system, meaning most GVW customers will have to be served by one source instead of the two normally relied upon.

“On the largest main there through Coldstream, there is a two inch water service that is directly connected to it,” Lord told Global News. “That water service got a leak on the valve right at the large main, so to fix that, we have to close down the large main and that affects a whole number of customers.”

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Lord said should water use remain high, a second area, those on the south BX pump station, may also be included in the shutoff.

GVW said while it hopes the repair job will be less than 24 hours, customers should prepare to be without water for a day by filling up jugs to store drinking water.

Read more: Water main break in Lake Country causes flooding, damage

Fridges and bathtubs can also be filled to store water for cooking and cleaning.

Large agricultural water services are being turned off to limit flows and industrial water users are asked to reduce use as much as they can.

GVW is asking for all automatic sprinklers and drip irrigation systems that run overnight to be turned off.

All customers can do their part to help the water system by reducing water use overall.

“It will affect practically all customers that are required or at least asked to refrain from outdoor watering,” Lord said. “That is all of Vernon and Coldstream and all electoral areas.”

This will avoid the need to turn off larger sections of the water system.

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While GVW estimates that the repair will be completed by Thursday morning, customers are being asked to not use water outdoors until Friday.

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Vernon Flash flooding
Vernon Flash flooding