Prince Rupert was issued a boil water notice on Dec. 14. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

In Our Opinion: All we want for Christmas is some clean water

Comment on the boil water notice in Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert has a lot of water but right now that’s one resource residents aren’t taking for granted.

Last Friday, a teeny, tiny little parasite found in poop infiltrated city water and now none of us can drink it, or wash our dishes with it, or let our pets drink it. Exposure to giardia and cryptosporidium can lead to side effects of ‘beaver fever’ – gas, bloating, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and all that kind of joy.

Merry Christmas Prince Rupert, you are now paying for one of the best summers to date. It’s the yin and the yang. We had sun, minimal days of rain, and then all at once the water returned with a vengeance. Now that stormy weather has turned up something awful — aka poop — from somewhere near the lake where we get our water from. The City of Prince Rupert is saying it’s okay to wash your clothes in it, but we’ll pass. The boil water notice is only supposed to last about a week anyway.

But a week can feel like a long time.

In Prince Rupert, December is the ultimate pot luck season. Holiday parties fill every weekend. Co-workers, friends, family and pets tend to mingle in an effort to keep the lack-of-sun blues away. Now, we have to hope and pray that our guests are washing their veggies and plates with boiled water, or washing their hands with boiled, then cooled, water. It’s such an inconvenience.

READ MORE: Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

For some of us, we can skip that whole boiling recommendation and stock up on bottled water. Single-use plastic and pollution, who cares. Let’s buy that stuff up by the caseload. Seeing the empty shelves at the grocery stores over the weekend made it seem like we were entering the apocalypse. Maybe some of those shoppers are on to something. This nasty water could last longer than a week. Better grab that clean bottled water just in case.

But then there’s those residents who tried the boiling water approach, took one look at the yellowish water and couldn’t shake the icky feeling when they took a sip. Shawatlan Lake doesn’t have the clearest of water — we’ve written about it before. Yet, we still have to drink from it for the foreseeable future while the city works on the Woodworth Lake Dam replacement project, expected to cost 2.5 times higher than the city expected.

Let this be a lesson to all of us here in Prince Rupert. For this week, let’s consider that Dodge Cove has been under a boil-water notice since 1988, and more than 100 First Nations communities across Canada that don’t have access clean water. We can at least hope for clean water by Christmas.

RELATED: City inks $6.9M water contract



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Man drowns crossing Skeena River

59-year old Prince Rupert victim pronounced dead at Mills Memorial

Reports of gunshots

No shooting according to RCMP

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

’The energy sector is destroyed beyond repair’: expert on COVID-19’s impact on economy

‘That’s never been heard of before; no one sells oil for $4 a barrel.’ – Dan McTeague

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

Most Read