Close to 300,000 people in Quebec City were without potable tap water on October 29 after a major pipe burst prompted a boil water order.

Pascale St-Pierre, a hospital spokesperson, told public broadcaster Radio-Canada the tap water had become “cloudy.” Four of the city’s five hospitals and approximately 40 schools became reliant on deliveries of bottled water. As a result, several neighbourhood stores quickly ran out of bottled water and restaurants eventually stopped adding ice to drinks.

In total, as many as 100,000 homes—or 250,000 to 300,000 people—were ordered to boil their tap water for at least a minute before using it.

The advisory was lifted on October 30.


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