Boil water advisories – Everything you need to know

When and why does Gatineau issue boil water advisories?

There are two types of advisories: preventive and regulatory.

  • Preventive advisories are issued as soon as there is a pressure drop in the system. This can occur as a result of:

    a) planned work; or
    b) an unexpected development, such as a water main rupture or power failure.

    In these cases, residents are asked to boil water before consuming it until the test results are out, which generally takes about 48 hours.

    If the test results are negative, the boil water advisory is lifted.
    If the test results are positive, Gatineau issues a regulatory advisory.
  • Regulatory boil water advisories are issued when the tests indicate the presence of bacteria. Affected residents must then boil their water until they receive notice that the situation is back to normal.

How does Gatineau inform residents?

When only a few homes are affected, that is to say less than 100, Gatineau employees go house-to-house and leave door hangers. They then return to notify residents in the same manner once the advisory is lifted.

When a greater number of homes are affected, Gatineau takes the following steps:

  • a news release is issued to all media, which then quickly disseminate the information;
  • an automated call to all homes within the affected area; it should be noted that Gatineau cannot reach residents whose phone number is not listed in the 9-1-1 data base;
  • an alert on the Gatineau Web site;
  • an RSS feed to everyone who is signed up for this kind of notice;
  • an alert to everyone who is signed up on Gatineau's Twitter and Facebook sites; and
  • an alert sent by e-mail and text message to everyone who is signed up for this service.

What else can you do to be informed?

Gatineau will do everything it can to inform you, as long as it has access to your phone number or e-mail address. It is up to you to provide us with this information. For instance, if you have an unlisted number, we will not be able to phone you.

The following options are available to you:

  • if your phone number is listed in the 9-1-1 data base, you would normally receive an automated call, which should not prevent you from using any other options available to you;
  • you can easily get the boil water advisories issued by Gatineau through an RSS feed. Please note that the Gatineau Web site is configured for smart phones;
  • you can sign up for Gatineau's Twitter site, and receive notices this way;
  • you can receive an e-mail or SMS text message every time a notice is issued in your sector. For this, you must fill out a form on the municipal Web site; or
  • you can keep updated through media reports.

Enhanced Community Notification Service

As of November 2011, Ville de Gatineau will be sending automated messages to residents with corded phones to notify them of alerts and emergencies in their area. The CRTC has mandated Bell Canada to provide municipalities with a list of addresses and telephone numbers for both listed and unlisted Bell residential subscribers, including yours, so that you can benefit from this service. THIS SERVICE IS FREE FOR ALL RESIDENTIAL PHONE SUBSCRIBERS.

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