A sewer emergency has closed off access for visitors to Battlefords Union Hospital.
According to Linda Lewis of Prairie North Health Region, the situation unfolded in the early morning hours of June 1. She described the situation as a water/sewer emergency at the hospital.
"There is water throughout the main floor entrance area and in some of the departments and offices," said Lewis.
It was declared a "code-brown" situation, with code brown referring to "hazardous material" - in this case, sewage. Both areas have been closed off.
At around 11 a.m. the source of the sewer system blockage was identified and now the hospital is working on rectifying the problem. A vacuum truck on site has been removing the water and work is under way to clean the area.
Access has been restricted to the facility for the day. Only emergency patients with scheduled appointments are being allowed into the facility, and that was to continue until at least 3pm in the afternoon. As well, visitors are not being allowed in through the main doors. Instead they are being routed through the physiotherapy doors on the west side, south of the ambulance bay.
No visitors are being allowed in the building Wednesday afternoon until at least 3pm or beyond, said Lewis. There are exceptions being made for those visiting a palliative care patient or those visiting children at the hospital, but otherwise general visiting is not happening today.
Lewis said the hospital was able to continue with some surgeries on Wednesday, including some dental surgeries. However, there has been limited water use and no drainage. Areas of the hospital where water and facilities could be used were identified, but those are very limited.
Lewis said the hospital will continue to monitor the situation in four-hour blocks and update the situation as it unfolds.