How to deal with shortage of drinking water

Last updated June 9, 2021
Reading time: 1 min

A water main break, defective equipment or even significant water  contamination in Montréal can lead to a shortage of drinking water. What can you do to protect your health? Follow these guidelines for dealing with this type of situation.

During the shortage

Reserve water supply at home

Do you keep a 72-hour emergency kit? Use your water reserve wisely. 

Your water reserve should include:

  • Drinking water: 2 litres per person, per day.
  • Additional water: 2 litres per person, per day to prepare food and for personal hygiene (e.g.: brushing teeth).
  • Drinking water for your pet.

Water distribution

Go to the distribution site mentioned by the city to get your water supply until the resumption of normal services.

Advisories issued

At all times, observe the guidelines set out in the advisories issued, based on the current situation.

The advisories can be viewed via text message and e-mail when residents subscribe to the Notices and Alerts service. They are also posted on social media networks and featured on an area-based map.

Potential symptoms

Did you drink contaminated water? Contact 811 of you experience any of the the following symptoms:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pain

It’s possible that you will not experience any symptoms. Drinking contaminated water can be particularly dangerous for vulnerable people:  

  • newborn babies
  • young children 
  • pregnant women
  • seniors
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • people with chronic diseases

Resumption of normal services

Follow the guidelines set out in the advisory concerning the resumption of normal services.