Current Water Advisories

A clean and safe water supply is one of the top priorities of the citizens of Yorkton. We take pride in the quality of our water supply and are committed to ensuring all precautions are taken to keep our citizens safe when work or construction is occurring on the water supply system.

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Drinking water advisory (DWA) notice

A yellow Drinking Water Advisory Notice door hanger informs residents of work that is being conducted on the water supply system in the area. It also indicates that as a precaution, the residents affected should boil any drinking water. The advisory also includes information and instructions about boiling water, what to expect, and includes contact information if you have questions.

Once all laboratory tests are complete, city staff will deliver a green DWA Lifted Notice to inform residents that the water is safe to drink, after citizens follow the outlined instructions.

Keeping our water supply safe

When the City of Yorkton is conducting any repairs or completing a planned project on the water supply system, it is possible for the system to become contaminated by its surroundings such as soil or other potential contaminants.

The following steps are always taken to ensure water safety:

  • The water supply is shut off in the affected area
  • The affected parts of the water supply system are depressurized and isolated using valves that prevent water from moving through the water supply system. However, during this work, it is possible for the system to become contaminated by its surroundings such as soil or other potential contaminants.
  • When the work or repair is completed, the system is re-pressurized and completely flushed past the point of construction and out through the hydrant.
  • City staff then collect chlorine and bacteriological samples. These water sample are drawn into sterile containers and delivered to an accredited laboratory where water quality testing occurs.
  • The lab provides the results back to the City to confirm the work meets safe drinking water requirements. It can take up to a minimum of 72 hours to receive the results.
  • At any point should there be a positive bacteriological result, the affected area will be re-flushed, re-sampled and re-tested.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

If I have a reverse osmosis (R.O.) system or a water softener, do I still need to boil my water?

An R.O. system, or water softener both filter certain impurities but they do not disinfect the water free of bacteria. It is recommended that you boil water for the following forms of use:

  • Drinking
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Washing fruits and vegetables
  • Preparing food or drink which will not be subsequently heated
  • Making ice
  • Soaking false teeth
  • Hand dishwashing

Why is the City now using door hangers?

  • Our door hanger notices are designed to improve the level of communication provided to all affected residents during an advisory in providing them with the necessary information (i.e., location affected, date advisory was in effect and instructions to follow during and also after the advisory has been lifted).
  • The water advisory notification system is designed to meet provincial standards.
  • All the necessary testing that was being done prior to the door hangers being implemented will still be followed. This does not change any of the quality testing procedures.

How can my water supply become contaminated?

Soil and other contaminants can enter your water for different reasons. The most common is when there is a water main break or when the City's Water Works department are working on repairs, maintenance and replacement of the City's underground water pipes.

How do I know my water is safe to drink?

The city's waterworks system operates under a permit, which is issued by the Water Security Agency (formerly Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment). Within that permit are strict guidelines that include: testing protocol, calculation and summation of records, sample collection and water quality objectives.

To ensure these objectives are met, we use chlorine to disinfect the water. The government states that the chlorine residual will not be lower than 0.1 mg/L free chlorine or 0.5 mg/L total chlorine anywhere in the distribution system.

The City must meet these requirements set out by the Water Security Agency:

  • Submit weekly – Three bacteriological samples for total coliforms;
  • Submit a General Health and Total Toxicity test once per year from the distribution system;
  • Submit a General Chemical test twice per year;
  • Make these test results available to the public in a yearly Consumer Report which is posted on our website.

Why is chlorine used for disinfection?

Chlorine is used as a form of disinfection for drinking water in order to eliminate bacteria and viruses that may lead to a wide variation of illnesses and possible life threatening diseases. In addition to being able to meet necessary drinking water requirements set out by the federal and provincial government, chlorine is also the most commonly used method of water disinfection without requiring any secondary form of treatment. It also has the most scientific information available in terms of effectiveness in both treatment and recontamination prevention.

How will residents in apartment buildings and condominiums, etc. be notified?

Residents will be notified by the building manager and posters placed in the entrances of these buildings on bulletin boards.