The boil water advisory in the city’s west end was lifted on Monday, although until Prince Rupert’s aging water system is replaced the problem won’t be permanently resolved.
Exactly one week after the boil water advisory was put in place, the City of Prince Rupert and Northern Health established it was safe for all water system users from the 1400 block to the 1900 block of Second Avenue West, Graham Avenue, Atlin Avenue, Moresby Avenue, Alpine Drive, Van Arsdol Street and 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 Streets, known as Section 2, to consume water from the system without boiling it first.
“We would like to thank the people in Section 2 for their patience and their cooperation over the last week,” Robert Long, Prince Rupert’s city manager, said, during the Oct. 6 council meeting.
Long said contributing factors for the advisory were the aging infrastructure and low water flow in Section 2, which caused a drop in chorine. While test results showed low counts of total coliform, both the city and Northern Health said the advisory was put in place as a precautionary measure.
“This issue was solved by performing a two-day rigorous flushing program, which refreshed the system in the area. Ongoing flushing maintenance will be performed in the future to try to prevent this from occurring again,” Long explained.
“The reality is that the system is extremely old and needs to be replaced in the near future, or we will continue to have these kinds of disruptions in service,” Long also said during the meeting.
“It’s like having a very old vehicle. You’re going to have to maintain it a lot more often than if you have a brand new car.”
There were no indications prior to the event that it was going to take place, with Long saying there hadn’t been any coliform in the system until last week when the advisory was ultimately put in place.
“We’re going to continue to flush the system, and that’s the best thing we can do given the oldness and fragile nature of our water system at the moment,” he said, noting the city’s water lines are all different sizes and made out of different materials, some of which are 100 years old.