Skip to content

Letter: Frustrated with water buggy confusion

City’s ‘left-hand-right-hand’ handling of the recent watermain break in Capreol leaves reader thirsty for clarity
typewriter pexels-min-an-1448709 (From Pexels by Min An)

I would like to comment on the city’s left-hand-right-hand handling of the water main break happening in Capreol at this time.

Soon after 12:30 p.m. on July 21, I was told while travelling home that Capreol had no water, so I called 311 asking where they would supply water and if at the public works depot I would stop along my way.

I was told by the customer service rep to "go buy it at the store" as the city does not supply water. I stated I pay a hefty water bill to the city for just two people living in my home, but again I was told no water would be given out.

I also mentioned the apparently two- to three-hour wait for the watermain to be repaired, and the city representative asked where I got that info as she knew nothing about it, yet my husband was told this when he called 311 to report the outage.

Once at home, I read on that the health unit was reporting it was unsafe to drink the water until it was tested for safety, but the city was making a water buggy available for people in Capreol. I again called 311 asking the location of the buggy.

A male customer service rep quite rudely asked where I got that information as they were not told this. I explained that had it on their site, and his reply was to call for more information. When I informed him the story said Public Health Sudbury & Districts was advised the city would be stationing the water buggy in Capreol, I was told to call them. 

I found his replies quite puzzling and expressed frustration that even though I pay a water bill to the city, I couldn’t get a clear answer. Again his rude reply was to the effect that, yes I do pay for  water, but right now it is broken.

I then called the health unit and spoke to a first person who knew nothing about the situation, so I was transferred to a voicemail that stated I would get a call back within one business day. When I reached a person, the health unit rep told me the water buggy is at the Public Works building on Capreol Lake Road.

It had been more than three hours since the water was off at this point and still no help from the city. I called my local Citizens Service Centre but only got the voicemail, so my husband walked over to find out where the water buggy would be located. All he found was a note on the door stating the office was closed due to the watermain break.

Why would this building be closed when instead of trying to call 311 sitting on the line being the 16th person in queue Capreol taxpayers could drop in or call to find out if help was forthcoming?

I again called 311 and spoke to someone called Katie who confirmed the water buggy was located at the Public Works building on Capreol Lake Road. I asked why the buggy was located in Hanmer instead of Capreol, where the watermain break actually occurred. How are seniors and public housing tenants supposed to get to Hanmer to fill containers and who has many suitable containers sitting at home? Katie stated this was not a planned outage so there are no plans. What kind of bamboozlement is this? The city has many watermain breaks all over and they do not have an emergency plan in place?

Linda Derkacz