A Water Quality Advisory (WQA) is still in place for Prince Rupert on Dec. 5 more than a month after the initial advisory was first issued due to high turbidity effecting the drinking water quality. Health and safety recommendations, first issued on Oct. 31, are being advised to protect residents considered most ‘at risk’.
“The turbidity has generally been trending downwards, but is still above acceptable levels due to continued storm events that began with an abnormally stormy summer,” Veronika Stewart communications manager for the City of Prince Rupert said.
“These factors have combined with our current reliance on our secondary water supply at Shawatlans Lake while construction of the Woodworth Dam is completed.”
The Northern Health website describes turbidity as the cloudiness of water that is caused particles which are usually invisible to the naked eye. These particles could be soils, organic matter and microscopic organisms in the water. Turbidity can enter a water supply system from land surface erosion and runoff from storm events or spring freshet.
A Water Quality Advisory, which is the lowest level of notification, indicates there is a level of risk associated with consuming the drinking water. The conditions under a WQA do not warrant a boil water notice or do-not-use water notice, the City of Prince Rupert said on it’s social media page.
“It is issued as a precautionary measure — particularly to those with compromised immune systems that they should take appropriate steps, such as boiling their water prior to consuming.”
For these sensitive users, as a precaution, all water intended for the following uses should be boiled for 1 minute, then cooled and placed in a food grade storage container before drinking, washing fruits and vegetables, making beverages or ice, and brushing teeth.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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