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City of Brandon Activating Water Treatment Facility Pandemic Preparedness Plan


March 26, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brandon, MB – As the City of Brandon continues to monitor the response to COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) in Manitoba, a decision has been made by the Brandon Emergency Response Control Group to activate its pandemic preparedness plan at the Municipal Water Treatment Facility in an effort to ensure the plant can continue to safely produce potable water for residents, institutions, and businesses.

As of 6 p.m. today (Thursday, March 26th), a crew of nine municipal water treatment facility operators and maintenance staff will enter the treatment facility and remain sequestered on-site 24-7. As part of this well-developed plan, trailers have been brought on-site to serve as personal accommodations for this crew, all of whom have volunteered for this duty. A total of 14 additional water treatment facility and maintenance staff remain on-the-job outside of the facility, with contingencies in place to ensure their health should a shift switch need to be considered in the coming weeks.

Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest stresses that enacting this plan should not be a cause for public alarm and is being done proactively to protect the water treatment facility’s functions, which rank with protective services as an essential service amidst this continued pandemic.

“In keeping with our Emergency Coordinator Brian Kayes’ philosophy of ‘Get Big Fast’ in an emergency response, we are doing all we can to ensure that we have a full contingent of healthy staff to perform critical functions at the municipal water treatment facility,” Chrest says. “I want to personally commend this group of water treatment facility staff, who have stepped up and put the comfort and security of their own lives on hold in order to ensure that our community’s supply of safe, potable water remains uninterrupted.”

City of Brandon General Manager of Development Services Patrick Pulak adds that it is very important for the community to understand that the COVID-19 virus cannot be contracted via the water supply, and that this plan is being enacted strictly to ensure the health of the facility’s operators.

“As residual chlorine in the water leaving our treatment facility serves to kill any such viruses, we want to ensure residents that the water coming from their tap in their home continues to be the same safe supply of water we have always produced,” Pulak notes.

Information on the City of Brandon’s COVID-19 response can be found at http://www.brandon.ca/covid-19-updates. General enquiries relating to municipal services can be directed to the City of Brandon Enquiry Line at 204-729-2186 during regular business hours or can be submitted online at http://www.brandon.ca/contact-us.