Friday, December 28, 2018

Heading towards New Years Eve, no change in Boil Water Notice for Prince Rupert

With no updates otherwise, it would
seem that Prince Rupert residents
will be boiling water on into 2019
Update: The City updated their website notice on Friday afternoon, the full notice can be reviewed at the bottom of this page.

For two weeks now, Prince Rupert residents have been living the life of the movie Groundhog Day.

Every morning, a quick scan of the City's website indicates that there is no change in the Boil Order Notice, meaning that our routine, much like our stoves, will be working overtime to keep our homes in stock of safe water for household purposes.

The Boil Order Notice which was first put into effect two weeks ago today on December 14th, sending Rupertites rushing to local stores to buy up available stocks of bottled water, all while watching their BC Hydro meter spin faster and faster as they kept the High Boil on around the house.

So far, there has only been one official Update from the City in reation to that Original Notice, a short advisory to keep on boiling  delivered on December 20th.

Mayor Lee Brain has popped up from time to time on any number of social media streams, delivering much of the same notes over and over on the issue to those that spend a fair bit of their time following the latest rumours and speculation around the community on Facebook.

December 24 -- Mayor Brain wades into Boil Water discussion on Social Media over the weekend
December 16 -- Mayor's update through Facebook offers up further details on city's water issues

For the most  part the social message manifestos highlight how the community is currently using the secondary drinking water source of Shawatlans Lake, (which we have been using for two years now) a situation apparently exacerbated by some climate issues that have provided for the current problems that brought us to the Boil Order Notice.

With the Christmas/New Years Holiday now underway, City Hall has been shut down since December 24th and with that closure, so too has slowed the flow of any additional information for residents, with little indication as to when we may be able to once again use our tap water with some semblance of confidence that the water won't provide for any kind of problems.

So far the City has not released any further information related to the water testing program that they have taken on, with no results provided for the city's website to provide for a guide for city residents as to where we may be on the way back to safe drinking water.

As we prepare to head into the New Year next Monday, we will be marking an approach towards the third week of the Boil Water Notice, still with little known as to what steps the City may be able to take to address the situation should it turn into a longer term issue, other than the often repeated call for patience.

Should the situation still not have been resolved by the first public Council session of the year set for January 14th, the Mayor and City Council members may find that the gallery has a few more people than usual taking in the workings of civic governance in the region.

And some we imagine, may just have a few questions should the Council members be inclined to open the night up for commentary.

You can review the path so far towards the new routine of Boil, Boil, Boil from our archive page here.

The December 28 update from the City of Prince Rupert:

UPDATED: Friday, December 28th, 2018

Boil Water Notice Update: 
Please note that the Boil Water Notice remains in effect until further notice. 

Unfortunately, there are no treatment options available to the City to remove cryptosporidium at the source supply, and therefore there is currently no way to prevent or manage the issue other than to wait for the water to clear itself. As previously noted, the spike in levels of cryptosporidium and giardia were related to a dry summer followed by recent storm surge events. Water testing results will continue to be closely monitored until Northern Health determines the water meets acceptable standards. Please continue to boil all consumable water and take the necessary precautions outlined by Northern Health and attached in our original notice: 

(Original Boil water notice)

As previously noted, the City applied for funding in August to implement a new $30 million multiple phased water treatment facility. Multiple treatment barriers will reduce the risk from cryptosporidium in the future, if we are successful in achieving the grant. 

We are working closely with Northern Health to continuously monitor water quality, and will remove the Notice when multiple clear results are received. We thank you for your patience, and apologize for the inconvenience.

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