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Discoloured water advisory issued for east end area

Sunday, May 18, 2014   by: Staff
Discoloured water advisory: River Road area

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON - (May 18, 2014) - PUC customers in Sault Ste. Marie are advised that due to the use of a fire hydrant on River Road, there is a possibility that customers in that area could draw discoloured water for the next few hours.

PUC crews have been dispatched to the area.

Customers that notice their water is discoloured should:

  • Turn on a cold-water tap and let the water run for a maximum of 15 minutes. It is best to use a bathtub tap, as there is no screen to trap any sediment.
  • Catch some water in a light-coloured cup. If the water isn’t clear, turn off the tap, wait 30 minutes and try again. Discoloured water usually doesn’t last long. If the water still isn’t clear after waiting two to three hours, contact the PUC Emergency Line at 705‐759‐6555.

We apologize for this inconvenience to our customers, and wish to thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation.


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.
stakeholder 5/18/2014 7:45:34 PM Report

yea ok enough already -who is responsible?
Stressed 5/18/2014 7:58:58 PM Report

Are you kidding me?? Again!!! And this "run your water for 15 minutes" is untrue! I had to run my water for 2 hours last time! How about a rebate PUC???
Sam C 5/18/2014 8:04:21 PM Report

stakeholder... One guesses that if a fire hydrant was used, it might have been the Fire Dept who used it.
justsomeguy 5/18/2014 8:16:56 PM Report

Sam - I believe one of the previous hydrant uses was a regular resident who accessed it to fill up their pool, not the FD.
Mr. Poster 5/18/2014 9:14:17 PM Report

ONE hydrant can case all of this mess? Heaven forbid there was ever a huge fire and they had to access TWO hydrants. Methinks this is more smoke and mirrors by the PUC.
justsomeguy 5/18/2014 9:20:01 PM Report

In the city I lived in as a kid, the FD used to run & flush the hydrants every spring and this never caused any issues to our water. This included the hydrants 2 doors up from my house.
Prrrrrrr 5/18/2014 9:28:09 PM Report

It's sickening!
debo 5/18/2014 9:28:19 PM Report

How many posters think that at some point .... Excuses just don't cut it any more!

Might make for a good poll Sootoday!
Entitledtomyopinion 5/18/2014 9:32:22 PM Report

I'm just wondering at this point what can "legally" be done about this situation at the consumer level. I am getting as tired of reading this as the poor east end residents are of dealing with it.
steelworker 5/18/2014 9:48:11 PM Report

Thank God I kept my well.
Sam C 5/18/2014 10:00:37 PM Report

justsomeguy... thanks for the clarification.

Mr Poster ... yes, just one hydrant. Whether it was an authorized use of a hydrant or not, there would have been a substantial change in the flow for that area.

Fire hydrants have a flow diameter of about 4 inches, and a flow rate between 500-1500 gallons per minute.
Mr. Poster 5/18/2014 10:08:11 PM Report

Big deal Sam..a system should be working so that opening a fire hydrant does not affect customers in this way.Fire hydrants have been OPENING for years...why the problem now?
Koolaid 5/18/2014 10:21:38 PM Report

WE never lose power downtown, or have discoloured water. It's because everything was built right in the old times, in the oldest part of town. Now for the newer parts of town the city hires the lowest possible contractors to do the job , and does not hold them accountable for their crappy jobs they do and the corners they cut.
MIG welder 5/18/2014 10:36:03 PM Report

Ya koolaid only downside are the hoes and the crack heads. Downtown sucks get a job and get out of there.
stakeholder 5/18/2014 10:38:01 PM Report

@ Sam C
for some friggin reason the fire department NEVER entered my mind!!!WTF!!!!
sinikka 5/18/2014 10:58:19 PM Report

remember all the coloured water at election time. I live in the west end and i can tell you that i have never , ever seen brown water in our taps. This constant problem is unacceptable and embarrassing .
old-cat33 5/18/2014 11:01:58 PM Report

People,people the next time there is a water main break ask to see the old pipe that they cut out.Then look inside the damn thing on the walls of the pipe and see for yourself all the build up that is stuck to the inside.I worked for a local contractor and that's what we did was change water mains and sewer laterals.
our camp 5/18/2014 11:20:41 PM Report

in May 2000 7 people died from drinking contaminated water in Walkertown Ontario i hope PUC gets the problem fixed before it happens here i feel sorry for you people i really do
Frio 5/18/2014 11:37:34 PM Report

Big difference in danger to health and chances of dying between brown water from stirred up sediment in the water main and the ecoli from farm manure runoff entering the water system as in Walkerton.
Taf 5/19/2014 1:28:41 AM Report

well... glad I live in west end :). But not liking the sudden chlorine taste of the water.
sinikka 5/19/2014 6:17:52 AM Report

Old Cat if the pipes are as corroded as you say then why was this brown water not visible until they put in this new water treatment plant in the east end. I have lived here for 46 years and this brown water issue is fairly new. Unacceptale and embarrassing for the city and the puc. Why has nobody lost their jobs over this ongoing issue. And when can the puc say that the brown water issue is corrected for good.
tosimple 5/19/2014 7:08:32 AM Report

If people actually stood together and stopped paying the puc bills for awhile. Its a shame people are dealing with this. I grew up west end and now moved further west and on a well. Are you people aware that in Batchewana they found small contaminates in the water. So the city of SSM is paying for all of them to have coolers and bottled water... Whats the city doing for you's??
soowat 5/19/2014 7:21:34 AM Report

Probably because I was bored,I went on-line and using Google looked up the words "Discoloured water."

That pulled up information from numerous communities that appear to be having (or anticipate having) brown water issues.

What this demonstrated to me is:

First,that this is an issue that is not unique to SSM.
Second, most of these cities had a communication strategy that exceed that of SSM
Third,There are a variety of fixes that SSM PUC does not appear to be considering. For example the City of Waterloo is going to use "Cement mortar lining [that]allows us to line the interior of the pipes, stopping corrosion."

The following are urls for a small sample.

Pictou ,Nova Scotia



Canberra City ACT Australia
tosimple 5/19/2014 7:23:29 AM Report

That's a good question for mayor Deb? Why are you paying to ensure Batch res has good drinking water and not the taxpayers of the city???? Tell you to let it run then charge you on it. All you people should try and tap in before the meter. Then let it run,why in the hell should you's being paying for there screw ups???? As a kid I remember the hydrant being flushed beside our house. The water in the house never changed after they flushed it!!!!!!
Steamboat 5/19/2014 7:35:11 AM Report

Ten years ago you would go out of town and be glad to get home to the best water in Canada, now everywhere you go has better water than home. We get to pay 10 % more every year for our water and the Sewer Surcharge increases as well and the quality of our water is no better. Our politicians talk about it but never really do anything constructive.
northernmale 5/19/2014 8:29:27 AM Report

I think the last place I would be looking to buy a house would be the east end of town.. If you can not drink the water because of the rust, imagine what its is doing to your skin, and not to mention you cloths
Mr. Poster 5/19/2014 8:30:59 AM Report

If this brown water situation is, as the PUC claims caused by their decision to change things....why is this BROWN water problem restricted to just the east end? Should not everyone have brown water at some point? I have never had brown water(old hospital area) but am certainly the victim. like EVERYONE else, of BAD TASTING WATER. It is like drinking out of a swimming pool. Brown water or clear water...the problem is still the terrible taste. If our city councillors do not have the gonads to insist the PUC fix this problem....lets replace all councillors.
MYPOINT 5/19/2014 8:49:51 AM Report

About 5+ decades ago, this city has the most awesome water ( color and taste combined ) that any city could possible have for it's citizens. I realize that our so called Government has changed many rules ( since Walkerton ) but by doing so, they have also caused many other problems for unsuspecting cities, especially those in the north.

As for our city council and the manner in which they seem to be allowing the PUC to get away with this kind of problem ... I think the entire city council and the head of the PUC should be replaced ASAP. I believe BOTH groups have contributed to this mess and BOTH are feeding all of us a line of BS to cover THEIR mistakes.

Although things are not looking good when it comes to our water problem, you can just imagine how terrible things are going to get if that little toad HUDAK gets voted in and he does what he says he is going to do and cuts some of the public servants who check on these types of things.

All I can say is ... Good luck people!

As always, your views may differ :)
MYPOINT 5/19/2014 8:50:29 AM Report

** had **
Koolaid 5/19/2014 10:54:56 AM Report

MIG welder

Your the biggest idiot that ever landed on this planet. WHAT A COMMENT !! Just ridiculous.
harry dick 5/19/2014 11:02:20 AM Report

I would like to know why this dirty water issue just started a couple of years ago . We never heard of dirty water in our water system . What are these people at the PUC and City Council doing that has caused this dirty water condition to appear ? Obviously , they have changed something enormously to end up with such a change in our water system , that is so detrimental ,that it has caused this shift to pollute our water to the point of being unable to drink it. What is needed now, is to bring in professionals to try and salvage what is left of our water system BEFORE someone DIES from it .
right wing 5/19/2014 11:14:45 AM Report

I live in the East end and experienced no brown water.
I've had two since the chemical treatment change over.
The East end is a large area, we don't all experience the brown water.
The turbidity will subside, the chlorine will balance out and our drinking water will have no ammonia in it.
Patience is a virtue.....
tba 5/19/2014 11:36:30 AM Report


There is NO SUCH WORD , as "you's"

YOU , is both singular, AND plural !

Many Americans add "All" to you, as in "you all".

They too, don't seem to understand the word YOU, is refering to EVERYONE Else in the world, or just YOU, as an individual!
Too many waitresses in the Sault, ask customers sitting at a table "are youse ready to order" .It suggests they've never graduated from even elementary school. If they did, their teachers should be ashamed.

Hope you accept the above, as constructive and you'll adapt.
ThinkAgain 5/19/2014 11:37:37 AM Report

Boring news, and let the same repeating comments continue
Gurpy 5/19/2014 12:08:19 PM Report

The Ombudsman received 7000 complaints about Hydro One. Mayby it is time to put the PUC on his radar???
harry dick 5/19/2014 1:45:03 PM Report

"right wing" patience is a virtue all right . this has been going on too long . It would be different if the PUC would compensate us for all the problems we have been afflicted with . My water usage is about $11.00 a month and my water bill is $60.00 a month. Why can't the PUC give us money to buy bottled drinking water while they muddle through this . I have been the best advocate of our drinking water in the past , until this scenario started . I , like my wife and sons , now drink only bottled water because our water is worse than most water in Southern Ontario .It is a lottery if you open the tap and get water fit to drink , now. But they keep charging us through the nose for poorer and poorer service and product . Maybe it is time to bring in someone from the Ombudsman office to find out what is going on in Sault Ste. Marie.
jake02 5/19/2014 5:12:12 PM Report

Apparently the solution the puc flushed the mains with is attacking the build up inside the pipes turning the water brown if u call the puc they will give u a $5.00 credit for running the water 15 minutes. They should still correct the problem at the source it is terrible .a line filter cost $1200,00 what other choices do we have .fix the probl before you puc are sued for people getting sick
OMGWTF 5/19/2014 6:10:28 PM Report

the new branding - "Mmmm brown is good!!"
damzull1 5/19/2014 6:30:42 PM Report

Her we go again with the brown water this city is slowly falling apart between the traffic light that have a mind of there own& uncontrolled, the pot holes that don't get fixed the drug dealer and drug addict and all the hookers and the robberies etc. etc. there no end to the list is there a worse town that a person could live in man this town really sucks big time
Frio 5/19/2014 11:39:38 PM Report

danzull ..Does writing, spelling and sentence structure comparable to an illiterate grade school drop out contribute to your totally negative view of the city and the world?
Tag33&1/3rd 5/20/2014 7:42:15 AM Report


YOUZ works no?
Frio 5/20/2014 9:04:35 AM Report

@TBA... Maybe you are confused with Ewes?? Baaaaa, baaaa!
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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