Residents inside a 500-unit housing complex in Burnaby have been without running water for days after it was shut down by the municipality following a water main break.
The Lougheed Village, a large housing development near the border of Coquitlam and Burnaby, has been without water since Wednesday, according to building residents. The property is managed by MetCap Living.
The dry taps have led to health and hygiene concerns from those without water, particularly amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think it’s unsanitary,” said Tamara Goddard, a resident of the village since 2019. “I’m scared to leave my apartment at this moment because people aren’t washing their hands.”
Goddard said she’s witnessed people going to the bathroom in a nearby duck pond, while other residents draw buckets of water from the same pond to bring back up into their units.
“People are frustrated and quite upset, because we’re not being given adequate information to make adequate decisions for our health.”
CBC News contacted the management company on Friday, speaking with a worker who declined to comment but said managers were working to have the water temporarily restored in the evening.
Request for comment from the site’s building manager were not returned by time of publishing.
First notice on Feb. 3
Goddard says residents were first given a notice on Feb. 3 that the water would be shut off from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for maintenance.
In the days since, subsequent notices have said the water will remain off until further notice, following a shutdown by the City of Burnaby because of a water main line break.
A spokesperson from the city said the break happened on a private line and city engineers restored water to the line about eight hours later. But as of Friday afternoon, residents were still without running water.
Goddard says property managers have been providing drinking water bottles to residents.
“People are cramming into elevators to get water bottles, they’re unwashed, people using public water … even if it’s not COVID, people are going to get sick.”