The Williams Lake Fire Department and the Williams Lake RCMP attend the scene of a motor vehicle incident where a fire hydrant was struck by a truck causing water in the neighbourhood to turn a yellow colour.

The Williams Lake Fire Department and the Williams Lake RCMP attend the scene of a motor vehicle incident where a fire hydrant was struck by a truck causing water in the neighbourhood to turn a yellow colour.

Crash turns neighbourhood water yellow

Yellow water was pouring out of many residential taps Tuesday evening after a vehicle struck a fire hydrant in the 700 block of Pigeon Ave.

Yellow water was pouring out of many residential taps Tuesday evening after a vehicle struck a fire hydrant in the 700 block of Pigeon Avenue.

The discolouration of the water in the taps was due to manganese, a naturally occurring element, the city’s manager of water and waste Joe Engelberts said when the Tribune pulled him out of a budget meeting Tuesday evening.

“If people run their taps the water will run clear,” he said. “It was an older style hydrant so it couldn’t stop the water flow.”

At 5:50 p.m. a truck travelling southbound on Pigeon Avenue veered into the oncoming lane and slammed into two houses in the 700 block, RCMP Staff Sgt. Del Byron said Wednesday, adding the driver received minor injuries and the incident is still under investigation.

“It appears to be a medical issue,” Byron said.

Theresa Wejr, who lives nearby, was driving home with her husband when they saw water shooting up 25 to 30 feet in the air from the broken hydrant.

“We thought a water main had broken,” Wejr said.

Some residents had yellow water continuing to flow from the taps until almost midnight, even some as far away as the Glendale neighbourhood.

It would have taken longer for some areas to see clear water,  director of municipal services Gary Muraca told the Tribune.

“Depending on where the houses were in the zone, would have determined how long it would take for the water to run clear,” he said.

“It wasn’t a boil advisory risk or anything like that.”

There are 525 hydrants throughout the city and approximately half of them are the older style.

“When things like this happen the old hydrants are removed and a newer style is installed,” Engelberts said.

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