50,000 Swedish households without water

More than 50,000 households in the Karlstad region in western Sweden were without water on Saturday due a serious water leak. Although service has been restored, residents are advised to boil drinking water for the next several days.

50,000 Swedish households without water

The regional hospital (Centralsjukhuset) was also without water, forcing staff to reschedule non-acute operations.

The leak was discovered sometime between 2 and 3 am on Saturday morning. Affecting both Karlstad and Hammarö municipalities, the leak drained both the water tower and the pipe system. Water began to return to households in Karlstad around noon on Saturday.

“Everyone in Karlstad and Hammarö should have running water by evening,” Katarina Lindström, information officer for Karlstad municipality, told TT news agency on Saturday night.

According to Per-Anders Bergman, head of the municipal technology and property administration department, it might take several days before the leak is repaired. Karlstad municipality is encouraging residents to boil cooking and drinking water for the time being.

“Since the system was empty for a number of hours, unsanitary water may have entered the pipe system,” Bergman said.

“We are going to take water samples, but it can take several days before we get the results. Until then, the water should be boiled.”

Water for animals should also be boiled. Farmers with large animal populations can fetch water at the purification plant in Skåre.

Residents are also encouraged to use water sparingly for the next several days.

“Since we just have one pipe from the water plant open until the other is fixed, we want to reduce the demands on the system as much as possible,” Bergman said.

Non-acute surgeries at hospital in Karlstad were also postponed due to the leak. Several dialysis patients from the kidney clinic were sent to Karlskoga and Torsby.

“Acute operations can still be performed,” said hospital superintendent Jan Söderholm.

The leakage in the pipe was caused by the ongoing ground thaw following the cold winter temperature. A total of 50,000 households were affected.

“This problem occurs every year, but the effect this year was unusually large,” said Bergman.

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Swedish uni in ‘Dirty Dancing’ quote furore

The rector of Karlstad University in central Sweden has been forced to defend the decision to adorn a new library building with a well known quote from the 1980s movie "Dirty Dancing".

Swedish uni in 'Dirty Dancing' quote furore

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner” is the quote etched into the front of the new library at the Swedish seat of learning, a line made famous by Patrick Swayze in the surprise smash hit from 1987.

The choice of the artwork, instead of one featuring a message more closely associated to academia, has however been met with dismay from some quarters.

A Facebook thread dedicated to the white neon artwork has been filled with scathing comments of the message and the money spent on it, according to the local Nya Wermlands Tidning (NWT).

“This is the most stupid thing I have seen in ages,” wrote one angry poster.

But University rector Åsa Bergenheim has defended the artwork, which cost the university 170,000 kronor ($25,500).

“There are always critical voices when it the university is concerned. Words are obviously very controversial as art,” she told NWT.

Bergenheim underlined that the piece was funded by a donation and and that she felt the message suited the university perfectly.

“It means that we straighten our backs and give our best – because we are capable,” she said, adding that it is a universal message that could apply to the whole of Sweden.

While the immortal cinematic words are already in place on the façade of the new library, the artwork will be formally inaugurated on August 29th.

The piece has been created by Moa and Mikael Krestesen from Umeå in northern Sweden and according to the artists the intention is, among other things, to encourage young girls and women to take space.

TT/The Local/pvs