Darrell Matson announces the city is removing its water restrictions Tuesday morning.
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People in Thunder Bay can flush guilt free as the city lifted water restrictions Tuesday morning.
It’s been more than two weeks since the Atlantic Avenue sewage treatment flooded, prompting a request for residents to send as little as possible down the drain. The facility now has all four pumps and motors in the main pumping station running, which allowed the city to withdraw its water conservation request.
But despite this news, the city is still officially under a state of emergency.
“Now that we’ve got all of the pumping capacity back we certainly want to announce that water use can now return to normal keeping in mind that water conservation still is an environmental responsibility to all of us,” infrastructure manager Darrell Matson said.
The Canada Games Complex, Churchill and Volunteer pools were reopened Tuesday afternoon.
Although the pumping station is up and running again, Matson said the facility as a whole still has a long way to go before the normal process returns. Some processes are being performed by staff manually while others are still non-operational.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us. We have many more weeks if not months in order to restore that plant back to its normal daily operating conditions,” Matson said.
The plant now has its 750 megalitre a day capacity back, which is more than capable of having the 50 megalitre a day average. But a restriction request could be made again if needed. Matson said people in Thunder Bay have shown that they are willing to conserve when needed, which several city officials thanked residents for.
“If we see that we’re running into some difficulties due to unforeseen circumstances or events that are not predicted we simply can via the media say to the community ‘please help us out a little bit again,” Matson said.
Over the coming months there will also be an investigation and assessment at the plant to see what can be done to avoid another flood in the future and what happened at the plant in the days before and after the heavy rain.
With the city in fully recovery mode, fire chief John Hay said the emergency operations team will cut back its twice a day meetings to once every two days.
The chief said he expects to announce more good news at the next media briefing Thursday.
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