#ShutDownCanada protests could cause cities to run out of chlorine for drinking water

The ongoing #ShutDownCanada protests, which have put Canadian trains to a grinding halt, could impact drinking water due to chlorine shortages.

The ongoing #ShutDownCanada protests, which have put Canada to a grinding halt, could impact drinking water in major Canadian cities.

Cathy Campbell, the president of Responsible Distribution Canada—a non-profit trade association for the distribution sector of the Canadian chemical industry—told NewsTalk 1010 that protests have effectively stopped the transportation of chlorine, a disinfectant added to drinking water to reduce or eliminate microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, which can be present in water supplies. Chlorine is considered an important chemical for water treatment.

Campbell says the blockades could be under boil-water advisories “within days.”

Some cities, Newstalk reports, will not be affected as they receive their chemicals via truck. This includes Toronto.

Cambell says another week of protests would be “critical.”

“We certainly don’t want to go another week … That would be seriously critical.”

Canadian drinking water supplies have used chlorine for over a century, with drinking water supplies having “greatly improved” due to its addition.

According to the federal government website, “Disinfecting our drinking water ensures it is free of the microorganisms that can cause serious and life-threatening diseases, such as cholera and typhoid fever.”

“To this day, chlorine remains the most commonly used drinking water disinfectant, and the disinfectant for which we have the most scientific information.”