BY SUSAN LAZARUK, THE PROVINCE
The mayor of a tiny Kootenays city that holds the title of best tap water in the world says it’s possible someone has sabotaged the city’s water reservoir.
“I can’t really point a finger at anybody but there was the chance that someone said, ‘Oh, these people have the best water in the world, we’re going to piss them off and do something,’” Greenwood Mayor Nipper Kettle after a padlock was found missing on the door leading to the city’s reservoir on Monday.
But Kettle said it’s more likely that someone in the city of 725 people was nosing around the reservoir for more selfish reasons.
“There’s a handful of people that go around and pick up copper and sell it,” he said. “There’s a handful of people who are into drugs and they basically need money to feed their habit.”
Police are investigating and the city will be beefing up security.
In the meantime, the water in the reservoir is being tested for contaminants by order of the Interior Health Authority.
The city, which earned top honours at this year’s Berkeley Springs International Water Testing Competition in May and has thousands of $3 750 ml bottles of it waiting to be sold, can use the tap water only for flushing toilets.
It has to import bottled water because its own bottled water, at $3 for 750 ml, is more expensive.
“I went to Grand Forks and loaded up my pickup with 35 cases of water,” Kettle said. “I got 36 bottles for $6.”
The town, which is giving each person 12 bottles of water each per day, had only three or four cases left on Tuesday.
Kettle said the Grand Forks mayor trucked in a water tanker for Greenwood folks to fill containers for extra water, and a campground in nearby Midway is offering showers to residents.
Kettle hopes to have the “do not use” ban downgraded to a “do not boil” ban by Thursday.
And he emphasized that the source of the water wasn’t affected.
“Our water hasn’t been compromised in any way, shape or form,” said Kettle. “We still produce the best water in the world.”