Atikokan plagued by lack of water

The Town of Atikokan trying to come up with plan to alleviate its water shortage crisis after a state of emergency was declared there Sunday.
Mayor Dennis Brown outlawed all non-essential use of water after water levels at Little Falls–the town’s intake–dropped 41 inches within 24 hours.
Volunteers were out Sunday punching holes in the beaver dams upriver from Little Falls, which the town is hoping will allow it to meet its basic water needs for the next two weeks.
“We’re trying to see if we could siphon some fresh water from Plateau Lake, which is located about 100 m from the water treatment plant,” Mayor Brown said yesterday. “If the plan’s approved, it could be a reality in two or three weeks.”
But it is possible that another water ban will be called within a week, clerk-treasurer Susan Bryk explained, depending on if the emergency measures organization can come up with a short-term solution.
Mayor Brown admitted yesterday that the shortage has left them scrambling.
“This is the first time this has happened in the history of Atikokan,” said Brown. “In the 80s, when we were consulted about the best source of drinking water for the town, Little Falls was it.”
Because Atikokan’s increased flow of water will be temporary, residents are being asked:
•not to water lawns or gardens;
•to flush toilets only when necessary;
•not to wash vehicles;
•to reduce laundry to minimum; and
•to take only short showers and baths.
Mayor Brown stressed the town received great cooperation from its residents during the temporary state of emergency, and hopes to see it again if the flow of water lessens.
“The public needs to be thanked because their actions helped considerably,” he enthused.
“When [the ban] was in effect, there was a noticeable drop in water use,” Bryk agreed. “People were cooperating.”