Monday, January 28, 2019

Clean Water Advocates set to make presentation to City Council tonight

Most of Prince Rupert's residents had an opportunity to take a break from the last six weeks of Boiling water orders, as the first weekend of a downgraded alert of a Water Quality Advisory went into effect.

The shift towards the lower grade advisory was announced in mid-afternoon Friday, with the City highlighting the recent positive results that had allowed for the end of the Boil Order notice, with the exception of what they describe as at risk people; such as newborns, elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

As per Northern Health guidance, some risk may remain for particularly at-risk people such as newborns, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. 

 The following sensitive customers should be careful when ingesting the water: 

Children and infants under the age of 2 years The elderly (65 years of age and older) People with weakened immune systems (if unsure consult with a physician) 

For these sensitive customers, as a precaution, all water intended for the following uses should be boiled for 1 minute. 

 Drinking Washing fruits and vegetables Making beverages or ice Brushing teeth Alternatively, sensitive customers could choose to use bottled or distilled water, or water that has been appropriately filtered through a well-maintained treatment device.

As part of their advisory, the City in conjunction with Northern Health plans to continue with a schedule of testing of the water supply for the immediate future, as well as to conduct a review as to the response from the six week period when the Boil Order Notice was in place.

That will be welcome news for the Prince Rupert Community Organization known as Community for Clean Water, which has designed their own action plan for consideration, with plans to present it tonight at Prince Rupert City Council.

The three key elements of the grass roots community groups proposal for council tonight include:

1. Recognize ​access to drinking water as a human right which must be fulfilled by the municipal government, especially for the city’s most vulnerable residents and even during a Boil Water Notice or Water Quality Advisory.

2. Launch a broad, extensive, ​independent, and transparent investigation into the city’s preparations for, and responses to, a ​46 plus day Boil Water Notice and Water Quality Advisory that includes looking into measures provided for vulnerable residents, the health and safety affects of the situation, and any economic impacts.

3. Ensure that the investigation is conducted by an independent expert on water quality and public water infrastructure who ​gathers feedback directly from those most vulnerable to restricted access to drinking water during an extended breakdown of the public water system. The full results of the investigation should be made public.

You can explore more about the work of Community for Clean Water here.

Tonight's Committee of the Whole session is scheduled to take place immediately prior to the Regular City Council session, with a start time of 7PM.

For a look back at the timeline for the recent Boil Order Notice, see our archive page here.

Notes on tonight's City Council session can be explored here, while a wider overview of past City Council Discussion themes is available here.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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