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Water, heat restored to QEII Halifax Infirmary site

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Nova Scotia Health says water and heat have been restored to the QEII Halifax Infirmary site Thursday evening.

The health authority says a water main break happened overnight and the Infirmary, the Veterans Memorial Building, and the Abbie J. Lane were without running water and steam.

"We had a water main break inside the power plant building here mid-day yesterday. There was a repair done to that and unfortunately a second water main break occurred in the same pipe, in the same building at about midnight,” said John Gillis, a health authority spokesman.

Gillis says the latest break also left the buildings without heat, which has since been restored.

According to a Thursday news release, water was also restored, but three days of testing will be required before tap water can be considered drinkable.

"Portable hand-washing stations are available and portable washrooms are located near main entrances. Bottled water is available at the site," reads an earlier release from Nova Scotia Health.

Hoses are pictured outside the Abbie J. Lane Memorial Building in Halifax on April 4, 2024. (Carl Pomeroy/CTV Atlantic)

The health authority noted only emergency and time-sensitive surgeries will go forward on Friday.

The emergency department remains open, though patients without emergency concerns are being asked to go to other emergency departments.

Blood collection was closed at the Halifax Infirmary for Thursday. Blood collection will go forward virtually where possible on Friday.

CTV News spoke with several staff members who declined to speak on camera but said it’s cold inside the building. Many wore winter jackets and hats inside. They added the biggest challenge is having to use toilets outside.

On Wednesday, there was a broken water line in the site’s steam plant. The buildings were without water for drinking or flushing toilets for several hours.

Nova Scotia Health said water was restored around 8 p.m., but staff and patients were advised not to drink it until it was tested.

With files from The Canadian Press.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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