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The Edmonton skyline on Feb.15, 2023.JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

Residents and businesses in Edmonton and the surrounding area were told Monday to limit their water use.

Epcor issued a mandatory ban on non-essential water use after a failure in the distribution pumping system at the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant in the morning.

“This mandated water ban includes all surrounding communities that Epcor provides water to, so that’s Edmonton and surrounding communities such as St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Beaumont, Leduc, Fort Saskatchewan, amongst others,” said Craig Bonneville, the company’s director of engineering and technical services.

Epcor said in a press release that the Rossdale plant remained operational but can’t supply the entire service area with normal water consumption.

There was no timeline for when repairs were to be completed, though Epcor said drinking water remained safe.

People were told to take measures such as delaying laundry and turning taps off while brushing teeth. Businesses like laundromats and car washes that use large volumes of non-essential water were asked to halt water use.

“Businesses using water to provide an essential product for life-sustaining needs are exempt from these measures,” Bonneville said.

“Other exemptions could include businesses that must use water to meet health codes, such as hospitals.”

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