A corroded pipe, which is believed to have been the source of the water quality problem at Saskatoon City Hospital, was identified and replaced within the hospital late yesterday.
A floor-by-floor flush of the hospital water system occurred this morning. All cold water taps were coordinated to run for 15 minutes to clear out any residue that may still have been in the system. This flushing of the system is according to Public Health guidelines. Test samples of the water were taken after the flush was completed at approximately noon. Another test will be taken tomorrow. Only after two consecutive test results have come back negative will the boil water order be lifted. The earliest this could occur is noon on Saturday, November 19.
Saskatoon City Hospital remains open for all non-invasive procedures and appointments including the emergency department. All emergency and urgent surgeries are being accommodated safely. However, the boil water order has resulted in a total of 74 non-urgent surgeries being postponed that were scheduled for yesterday and today. Postponements will continue until the order is lifted, although the exact number of those surgeries has yet to be determined. Other procedures, including approximately 60 endoscopies, have also been postponed over the last two days. We will be working closely with surgeons’ offices to reschedule these patients as soon as possible.
Patients whose procedures have been postponed will be contacted by Saskatoon Health Region or their surgeon’s office. If you were booked to have an outpatient procedure at Saskatoon City Hospital this week and have not been contacted, please call the physician’s office who booked the procedure if you have any questions. Those with other questions can call the Health Region’s Client Representative Office at 306-655-0250.
“We are following provincial public health guidelines to ensure the ongoing safety of our patients and our staff while we await the results of the water quality testing,” says Dr. Johnmark Opondo, Saskatoon Health Region's Deputy Medical Health Officer.
Patients and families should be assured that all precautions are being observed during this boil water order to ensure onsite safety. Bottled water is available for drinking and food is also being prepared using boiled water. The order does not affect toilet use or hand washing.
On November 14, Saskatoon City Hospital experienced water quality issues in the building and was put under a boil water order. A boil water order means no tap water is to be consumed or used in sterile procedures within the building. Emergency water supplies, including bottled water, continue to be distributed to all units and departments for patients and staff.
Thank you to our patients, staff and physicians for their understanding and patience during this challenging situation.
Additional updates will be provided to the public as the situation changes.
WATCH Dr. Opondo's statement here. (YouTube)