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Vanier Hall is one of a number of buildings on the U of O main campus hit by the potable water advisory. Photo: Charley Dutil/Fuclrum

High levels of bacteria found in drinking water around main campus

The University of Ottawa has advised all students and faculty members to restrain from drinking water on campus after it found “elevated levels of bacteria in potable water” at a number of locations on the main U of O campus. 

The U of O discovered the high levels of bacteria in potable water during tests to reopen safely buildings on its main campus after months of them being closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As you may know, the University is in the process of preparing buildings for a phased-in reopening, which will start in the coming weeks,” said the U of O in a press release on its website. “As part of these preparations and in an abundance of caution, we have conducted water quality testing since most of our buildings have been closed for many weeks now.”

The university is advising all students and faculty members to sterilize cooking water by boiling it for 20 minutes, use only cold water for handwashing, and to not use the showers. 

The following list details all the buildings that are affected by the potable water advisory.

  • Tabaret Hall
  • 75 Laurier, Avenue
  • 110 Séraphin-Marion
  • Academic Hall 
  • 143 Séraphin-Marion
  • 145/147 Séraphin-Marion
  • Hagen Hall
  • 100 Laurier, Avenue 
  • 178 Laurier, Avenue
  • 190 Laurier, Avenue
  • 150 University, Private
  • William Commanda Hall
  • 600 Cumberland Street
  • 90U residence 
  • Stanton residence 
  • Marchand residence
  • Brooks 
  • Biosciences Complex (Phase 1 and 2)
  • Colonel By Hall
  • Fauteux Hall 
  • Faculty of Social Science building 
  • Gendron Hall
  • Hamelin Hall
  • Lamoureux Hall 
  • Leblanc residence
  • D’Iorio Hall
  • 127-141 Louis-Pasteur, Private
  • 100 Marie-Curie, Private
  • Marion Hall
  • Montpetit Hall 
  • Morisset Hall
  • Pérez Hall 
  • Simard Hall 
  • SITE building
  • STEM building
  • Thompson residence
  • Jock-Turcott University Centre 
  • Vanier Hall 

The U of O also recommends “that research activities that require the use of untreated tap water, including the use of emergency showers and eyewash stations be paused until further notice.”