Summerland’s water shutdown on the weekend turned out to be an inconvenience, but not a crisis.
The shutdown was required in order for crews to do some maintenance work on a pressure reducing valve.
Initially, residents had been told to prepare for three days without water, but the reality was different. Most homes had a steady supply of water throughout the weekend. It didn’t meet the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines, but it was good enough for washing, showering and flushing toilets. It could be boiled and then used for cooking or drinking.
It just took more preparation and time to cope with the weekend shutdown.
Preparing for the shutdown, by filling jugs or buying drinkable water, was an inconvenience. Boiling water for drinking or cooking takes some additional time.
And for some, the shutdown was more than a minor inconvenience.
Some homes in the community were left without water during the weekend.
Some businesses and organizations affected by the shutdown had to close their doors during the weekend.
It wasn’t business as usual for everyone.
In the end, the work went smoothly and the community emerged without significant problems.
The weekend could be seen as an emergency preparation exercise.
It was a time to determine if individuals, families and businesses could cope with a water service disruption.
There may be times in the future when Summerland’s water or other services could be disrupted — possibly with little or no advance warning.
It is important to have a plan in place to cope if such an event should occur.
This weekend should serve as an indication of whether we are able to cope in case of a future emergency.