Water Quality Advisory.
In a statement posted to the City's website, Facebook page and mobile app this afternoon, the City outlines how Northern Health has determined that water samples now have met the criteria to change the notification to the Water Quality Advisory, the background to the change notes how the city reached the condition for the downgrade.
“Demonstrate 3 weeks of satisfactory consecutive results showing that the raw water shows no detection for Cryptosporidium using method EPA1623 from an approved lab (this must be achieved at a minimum sampling frequency of 2 samples per week separated 24h+ apart from one another and results must be received within 96h of sampling) with an ongoing sampling program for Cryptosporidium and Giardia approved by the Environmental Health Officer. The operator must achieve the appropriate Contact Time (CT) value to deactivate the Giardia present at Shawatlan Lake with a post treatment Giardia cyst viability/infectivity audit program approved by the Environmental Health Officer.”
The City also outlined the scope of the monitoring program on the city's water supply that will move forward from today:
The condition in place with Northern Health to meet treatable limits is also combined with a post treatment Giardia cyst viability/infectivity monitoring program approved by the Environmental Health Officer. The monitoring program, which tests for both Giardia and Cryptosporidium, will continue at a frequency of twice a week for the foreseeable future, until Northern Health determines it is safe to reduce frequency. Northern Health is currently working to determine an appropriate test schedule over the longer term.
In addition, health care providers will also continue to monitor for any illnesses directly related to water quality. Over the course of the advisory, and the months leading up to it, there was no outbreak of illness related to cryptosporidium or Giardia, which indicates that the Notice has been effective in ensuring positive health outcomes. Furthermore, the City’s test of the sewer system also did not test positive for Cryptosporidium or Giardia, further indication that there was no outbreak of illness.
The difference between the Boil Water Notice and Today's Advisory puts the focus on those who will need to consider to continue the boiling of water owing to risk factors.
A Water Quality Advisory does remain in place as a precaution for those considered most ‘at risk’. A Water Quality Advisory indicates a level of risk associated with consuming the drinking water, but the conditions do not warrant a boil water notice or do-not-use water notice.
It is the lowest level notification, and 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).
The full statement from Northern Health and the City can be reviewed here.
Shortly after the city posted their advisory to their website, Mayor Lee Brain offered up a note through his Facebook page.
As a follow up to the six week Boil Water Notice, the city has outlined the steps it plans to take, which will include compiling a report in conjunction with Northern Health to review the lessons learned and the opportunities for an improved response should events warrant it in the future.
The information will be delivered to City Council at a session in February.
For some background on the six weeks of water woes, see our archive page here.
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