An outdoor water ban imposed on about 80,000 residents in Barrhaven, Riverside South and Manotick is leading to a rush to purchase rain barrels.

A truckload of rain barrels arrived at the Ross Independent Grocer on Strandherd Drive Wednesday morning. There were 700 rain barrels for sale; by midday there were only about 100 left.

The grocer says it's sold about 1,500 rain barrels since the water ban was put in place last week. The rain barrels sell for about $50, the same amount the city is offering as a rebate.

Although the city has created programs to help affected residents and businesses, those who live in the area are critical of how the water ban was put in place.

"It blindsided me at one o'clock in the afternoon and if it had been April Fools I would've thought it was a joke," resident Suzanne Stoltz told CTV Ottawa at a public meeting Tuesday night.

The mandatory outdoor water ban is needed to ensure residents have an adequate supply of drinking water until a water main on Woodroffe Avenue is replaced. The water main, which broke in January, wasn't supposed to be replaced for another several years.

"This all comes back to a pipe that burst prematurely," said Coun. Steve Desroches.

Until the new water main is in place, a temporary fix will only supply the communities with enough water for indoor use. That means no filling up swimming pools, watering lawns and gardens or washing the car. The ban also extends to businesses and landscapers.

The water ban could be in place until mid-August. If residents don't follow the ban, they risk having unsafe drinking water. A boil water advisory could be put in place and residents could face serious health risks.

The city will help residents meet the water ban by supplying pool top ups and $50-rebates to those who purchase rain barrels.

The city also plans to spend more than $400,000 to haul water to outdoor plant businesses to help them maintain their inventory.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Stefan Keyes