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The yuck returns to east-end water

Saturday, March 01, 2014   by: Staff has received a number of reader complaints with regard to the colour of their tap water.


Pictured here is a water sample from Parkland Crescent. attempted to reach Sault Ste. Marie PUC representatives without success today to obtain information about the current east-end water situation.

A recorded message indicates to callers that PUC is receiving a high volume of calls, then informs them that the operator would be unable to return their calls.

Callers are then instructed to leave a detailed message regarding the nature of the emergency.

As of 6:40 p.m. on Saturday, March 1, no public notice had been posted to the PUC website regarding current water issues.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Beej 3/1/2014 6:46:44 PM Report

It never went away.
It is pitiful the way they have (not) handled this.
sAUCEY 3/1/2014 7:22:00 PM Report

Water Main break on queen east yesterday, one on poplar area yesterday evening and one today pim, not on news release,.. Queen was closed from lake to pine i believe for 14 hours, no idea how my kids bus was going to get her home, thank called we called the bus line. no notice in my mail that my water was turned off through out the day, so when i turned my taps on the spurted and had brown water, and the best part, when trying to get onto queen so i can go home into my drive the puc guys weren't letting me onto queen block the road with the trucks, when i tried to get by they would pull up so i had to plow through a snowbank.... terrible situation.
sandpiper 3/1/2014 7:23:06 PM Report

Lets see...During the summer the city said the brown water was caused by them back flushing. Would they be out in this cold temperature back flushing the lines again...NOT But to clear it just run your taps and eventually it will clear up. Sure and the PUC charges you for the extra water you are using plus your sewage rate will go up as everything else. We pay and pay and get dirty water.
Also remember the city engineer saying that the water is ok to drink lets see if he would drink this water?
Shortz 3/1/2014 7:27:35 PM Report

I've already run the water here for over a half hour and it's still yellow in color.
mittens 3/1/2014 7:28:05 PM Report

I have been trying to get my water cleared up since 4:30 this afternoon. My daughter can't even have a shower cause the water is so gross looking. There's actual dirt particles in the water.
hockeytime 3/1/2014 7:31:10 PM Report

I can tell you the yuck has been here for along time it never went away
The title should read Please pay your Dirty Water Bill So we can leave the lights on in our new building .
Bad Dawg 3/1/2014 8:08:55 PM Report

hockeytown that's the truth... new building with no freaking parking.... what a joke.

and of course its a recording, are we to believe that there is a giant call center open 24/7 waiting for puc customers to call.... more likely sub-contracted the calls to a country that doesn't even have running water.

m&p 3/1/2014 8:10:43 PM Report

I called the PUC after my neighbour called to ask if I had brown water. They told me not to run it for about 1 hour and after that to start flushing the taps for 15 to 20 minutes, I let it go longer and the water is clearer, but is it okay to shower or drink it, not sure about this. We had great water before the change and nothing but problems since. I am so angry because we have to pay for the extra water we have to run to clear it up. I'm not very happy to say the least.
Misha 3/1/2014 8:14:09 PM Report

I called the PUC today when I noticed the water problem. The Customer Service line stated if there is an electrical emergency press 1, water emergency press 2, for all others press 3... I pressed 3 and left my message that was around 5:30 p.m. Just got a call from PUC (8:00p.m.) The man on the phone said that there was a water main break on Queen Street, that means they have to use the East End Well and that brings up the BROWN water. He stated that there is a WATER SHORTAGE IN THE CITY NOW! So, if there is a shortage why isn't this listed as an emergency as well? So Sault Ste. Marie do not use any water... don't do dishes, shower, flush the toilet, laundry. We must conserve water for the PUC. I also asked when we would see that refund on our bills for this situation, the guy said I would have to talk to some one else.

Does the PUC not understand that we do not believe a word that they are saying ?

The PUC has become a running joke. Maybe they can get on the American Late Night Talk SHow with the Mayor of Toronto.

My husband goes around singing "Oh Black Water by the Doobie Brothers"
Powerwise 3/1/2014 8:17:21 PM Report

Oh for crying out loud, people, GROW A PAIR!

I've never seen such a sorry bunch of "whiny Westerners" in my goddamn life!

Try living in a third-world country for more than a few days! I bet you'd return with your sorry tails lodged firmly between your flabby cellulite legs.

We're surrounded by fresh water; if you really had to you'd go outside, collect some snow, then boil it.

Do you know what suffering is? Here's a tip: you're not suffering.

Now stop being such babies.
sweetc 3/1/2014 8:26:08 PM Report

powerwise... we do not live in a third world country..... we pay to have safe clean water and we should be able to expect to have what we pay for.
ray zinbag 3/1/2014 8:28:52 PM Report

We just have to pay more money to puc so they can finish paving there little parking lots no need to try fixing the gross dirty water prob we have
Lo-Cal 3/1/2014 8:29:08 PM Report

Powerwise .. although water discolouration isn't the end of the world ....

If they can just credit the people that pay for clear potable water yet don't receive it that would elevate some of the hard feelings..

I mean everyone returns stuff to the store when broken and proper customer service usually gets a new product or a discount on the service... should do the same here is all .

either way water quality we pay a lot for isn't up to par !!
mittens 3/1/2014 8:32:57 PM Report

Powerwise, I'm guessing you don't live in the east end.... it's a huge inconvienience to have brown water all night. Tell your child that they can't shower because the water is DISGUSTING! Never mind the fact that puc costs a small fortune...and I just ran my water for 4 hours and its still the colour of piss
Powerwise 3/1/2014 8:56:39 PM Report

"powerwise... we do not live in a third world country"

So stop being such a child about it. Use your first-world electrical supply to heat your own goddamn water. See how easy it is? Learn to do something more than complain to the government when things break.

"We pay to have safe clean water"

That's life. Here's a positive lesson for you to learn: LIFE'S NOT ALWAYS FAIR.

In reality, this water's probably still significantly safer than what most of the world's people drink on a day-to-day basis.
Misha 3/1/2014 8:57:41 PM Report

Dear Powerwise: What Third World Country did you say that you lived in? Perhaps you could tell us more about your experience? I don't understand why you are so angry?

The first house my husband grew up in did not have running water at all. They had a pump in the kitchen and an out house. He said the water pumped in was better than any of the water he has seen here lately in Sault Ste. Marie.

What I am most frustrated with is that we are paying a large amount of money and not receiving the service. If you check your biil you will notice that you are paying for the BROWN WATER, you are paying for the DELIVERY of BROWN WATER and a $20.00 basic service charge for this wonderful service.

We need a serious change to how the PUC is run and I believe the Board of Directors needs to be voted in and not just appointed.

Apparently the PUC has finally responded to the complaints. I'm just reading it now.

Read the news release, same story different day. Once again, nothing about how the situation will be rectified.

Powerwise 3/1/2014 9:09:25 PM Report


"Powerwise, I'm guessing you don't live in the east end"

I do happen to live in the East End.

".... it's a huge inconvienience (sic) to have brown water all night."

So do something about it.: go outside, shovel some snow, and boil the friggin' stuff. That's part of being an adult.

Create a bath for your kids with the boiled water.


"Tell your child that they can't shower because the water is DISGUSTING!"

I've spoken to my children about what's going on. They probably have a significantly firmer understanding of our current situation than you'll ever have. They understand that situations sometimes become difficult, even in our privileged society.

"Never mind the fact that puc costs a small fortune...and I just ran my water for 4 hours and its still the colour of piss"

Ahhh shad ap.

locura 3/1/2014 9:14:00 PM Report

Why do Eastenders have to continue to pay same rates as the rest of the city when our water consistently resembles sewer water, water that no one would look at and drink which means I have to go PURCHASE bottled water, not to mention having to run my taps for how long to clear lines(more expense)! Completely tired of PUC's "EXCUSE OF THE DAY"
nanci 3/1/2014 9:18:18 PM Report

Giving thanks that I do not live in the East end of town, but, I certainly feel for the people that do. This could happen all over Sault STe. Marie if this keeps up and people accept that BROWN water is OK. This is NOT a 3rd world country and we pay big bucks for services. Clean water is NOT A LUXURY item. City Hall and the powers that be...GEt on it or GET OUT. Think before you vote in Oct. folks. WHAt has your ward alderman done for you lately????
vmac 3/1/2014 9:53:27 PM Report

Whats the matter? You don't like taking a shower and smelling like a penny after?
NB113 3/1/2014 10:27:05 PM Report

Powerwise - Are you retarded???
Bad Dawg 3/1/2014 10:33:57 PM Report

powerwise... I pay for clean water. its not clean, your damn right I am gonna make noise.

How can someone just hand over $100 a month, not be able to turn on a tap to have clear water!! I have not drank my tap in months, I don't send PUC a bill for my bottled water(its my choice not too drink it) but for laundry and showers, this is a complete BULLS#!+. Even the dishwasher doesn't want to work, she said "the water stinks and I'm not washing my dishes in dirty water only to wash them again when the pipes clear"
Javaman 3/1/2014 11:36:48 PM Report

I would never buy a house in the east end. Real estate values on houses in the east end are going to drop .I find it interesting that folks get upset with the money spent on the new PUC building but could care less that the catholic school board is spending about 50 million on a new school.
Bad Dawg 3/2/2014 12:46:52 AM Report

we bought ours before the switch.... hindsight we would of bought out of town with a natural spring
wandering 3/2/2014 1:22:31 AM Report

smell like hell..we should all stop paying our bill until they fix it
Gurpy 3/2/2014 7:56:52 AM Report

I have a little surprise for you! A nice warm bath in brown slimy disgusting water and a nice warm bottle with the same!!! Are you for real??? Change your meds!
wandering 3/2/2014 8:37:07 AM Report

does anyone know how bad it is for falling...anxiety see all this in the east end..does anyone never did wonder why
cdnhunter 3/2/2014 9:48:21 AM Report

Email your ward 1 councillor Paul Christianson, and Steve Butland. the more the better got to keep on them to do something that's what they get paid for. I have emailed them 4 times already with updates as the water is still a little brown
Tag33&1/3rd 3/2/2014 10:40:12 AM Report

Didn't this latest brown water incident happen because of the multiple water main breaks at around the same time? We can't blame the PUC for that. S*#T Happens.
boilertyme 3/2/2014 10:41:29 AM Report

Hey Powerwise, did the toilet seat come down on the back of your head when you were drinking brown water. Lol Power"wise" , questionable.
jeffster 3/2/2014 11:09:57 AM Report

from the sault star article..."The water is safe to use, but PUC does not recommend it be consumed"

The P.U.C. needs to immediately stop charging people for the "water" portion on the monthly bill, until this is issue is fixed permanently. This is totally un-acceptable.

They need to step up to the plate and be accountable for this, instead of constantly using the "backflushing" excuse.
Beej 3/2/2014 1:58:30 PM Report

"Stop charging for brown water?"
You will see 5 blue moons before this ever happens!
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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