Now that thousands of homeowners in certain areas of the city have been informed hat they may be consuming lead-contaminated water, Brandonites are starting to look for alternatives to staying hydrated while keeping their health in mind.
This could mean making a trip to your local grocery or department store and picking up a case of bottled water, or investing in a more substantial solution like purchasing a water filtration system or a tap filter.
Either way, your local Sobeys, Canadian Tire and Blue Moon Water are ready for a new surge in business, if it should happen in the near future.
"We haven’t noticed a change yet but I’ve had a couple of phone calls about it already," Blue Moon Water owner Phil Durward said on Friday morning. "I think people are still confused what areas are affected, but we are stocked up … I always keep the store full in case of emergencies."
Whether or not you consider high lead levels in your water to be an emergency, if you reside within the designated areas specified by the City of Brandon — which can be found on a map on the Brandon Sun website — you might be thinking about a solution that best suits your needs.
While you could rely on keeping your mouth closed in the shower or not swallowing while you’re brushing your teeth, perhaps water bottles and water filtration systems might be worth the investment.
Some of the options available for purchase at Blue Moon Water, located at 1040 26th St., include a wide range of water filtration devices, water coolers for purchase and rental, fridge packs as well as individual sized bottles.
Stuart Cruse, general manager at Canadian Tire, said they also stock a wide range of water filtration options and are stocked up on water bottles, but they haven’t noticed too many people rushing to their shelves just yet.
"I think people in general are just starting to kind of worry about this a little bit," Cruse said.
Sobeys front end manager Jean McFadden said they’re also stocked up on water bottles, but as of Friday afternoon, she didn’t notice any substantial increase when it comes to water purchases.
"I’m not sure if we’ll be ordering in more stock because of this just yet ... so far we haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary," McFadden said.
For those worried about the environment, Canadian Tire also carries the ever-popular Brita water filters and pitchers. Just be sure that the description specifies "lead reduction certified filter."
Brita water filter replacements can also be recycled.
Starting next week, concerned homeowners will be able to pick up testing bottles from city hall and have their water checked.
The city will charge $20, or $45 if you don’t live in an affected area. If lead is found to be pouring from your taps, the city says it will cover half the costs of replacing those pipes —up to your property line.
But homeowners will be stuck with the full cost of replacing these pipes the rest of the way.