A precautionary boil water notice that was issued to residents and businesses on the town site water supply system has now been lifted.
Fraser Health Authority instructed the district to issue the advisory on Saturday as a result of water quality monitoring showing a positive reading with bacteria count.
“District staff went above and beyond,” said chief administrative officer John Fortoloczky. “We put it out on social media, and we had our workers handing out notices to every household and business in the affected area. We actually had people working out on the streets until midnight.”
McDonald’s Restaurant also stepped up immediately to offer free treated water to families in the community. In addition, Nestlé Waters donated 3,000 cases of bottled water to residents affected by the boil water advisory. Company employees, district staff and elected officials handed out 72,000 bottles of water on Sunday, worth an estimated retail value of $13,500.
Another water sample was taken on Saturday and the results came back clean and free of any traces of coliform. However, Fraser Health still instructed the district to do a low-level sanitization treatment on Monday, which involved draining the reservoir down to about two per cent of it’s 1.6-million litre capacity and adding five litres of bleach.
Two subsequent tests since then have shown that the water is safe to drink and use without being boiled first. Staff testing on Wednesday also found no traces of residual chlorine in the affected area. Fortoloczky said the town site reservoir empties once a day, which means the bleach was “flushed through very quickly.”
“It is not the policy nor the wish of this council or administration that we chlorinate the water,” he added.
“There’s no agenda here. We acted on advice of Fraser Health. We didn’t have a choice.”
The district is currently in the process of confirming what exactly prompted the precautionary boil water notice on Saturday, but Fortoloczky said there’s a possibility it was a false positive test result.
Silver Creek, Lake of the Woods, East Kawkawa Lake, West Kawkawa Lake and private water systems were not affected by the advisory as they are on separate reservoirs.