At least 45,000 people in Gatineau are being asked to boil their water as a precautionary measure after a water main broke in the city’s Gatineau district, reported CBC News today.

The boil-water advisory covers a large part of the district, north of the railroad tracks, around Cheval Blanc Avenue, said City of Gatineau spokesman Pascal Laplante. It will remain in effect for at least a good part of the weekend while the water is tested for levels of E. coli bacteria.

City officials said the water coming out of the tap in the affected area may at first appear brownish, and residents should run it until it comes out clear before collecting it and boiling it for at least one minute prior to use.

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