waterA city councillor wants to put the issue of frozen water pipes on ice.

Not literally, of course, but Noella Rinaldo says with over 400 homes in Timmins and Porcupine affected this winter alone, more needs to be done.

She says for a household or business, not having water “constitutes a health risk.”

“The stress of providing basic functions in a household can be overwhelming mentally, and for some, financially,” she said.

In a prepared statement, Rinaldo adds this proposed committee could discuss things like:

  • Providing water for household uses not drinking (logistics such as containers, pickup, water source.)
  • Providing water availability for cooking and drinking (logistics’ such as containers, delivery water source.)
  • Shower arrangements at pool/ arenas
  • Possible Porta Potty arrangements
  • Clothing washing arrangements
  • Partnerships with agencies to deal with those citizens that need physical help with the water, getting to drop-off areas that are distributing water
  • Arrangements for collection of bottles and equipment after the crisis.
  • A more open, communicative, informative system for the priority list.
  • An improved system to contact individuals on the possible reconnection.
  • Most information should be dealt out of one control, to allow for the most efficient method of communication.

Mayor and Council agree that the issue doesn’t qualify to declare a “state of emergency.”

Rinaldo says the plan for frozen pipes should be “similar to a best practice” that we’d use in dealing with floods, fires or larger scale water problems.

The committee would be for more of a long-term solution, but questions were raised on what can be done on a short-term basis.

Residents are encouraged to talk to their neighbours with running water, and negotiate running a hose.

The Sportsplex and McIntyre Arena are offering help with showers and bathroom access, and the Timmins Fire Department offers usable water as well.

Rinaldo proposed Mayor and council meet with partners such as the Porcupine Health Unit, CDDSAB, Fire, Police, service providers and others to discuss an opportunity moving forward.

Over 120 people remain on the wait list to have their pipes thawed.