Residents of Burton, B.C. are being told to boil their water before using it. The Regional District Central Kootenay issued a boil water notice on Aug. 22 for users of the Burton Water System because recent testing showed that the current water quality poses a health risk.
Water testing results indicate that there are low levels of coliform bacteria and very low levels of e. coli, Jason McDiarmid, Manager of Utility Services for the RDCK told the Arrow Lakes News. Where it came from is unknown, but anything minor could cause it because Burton is a no-chlorination system. McDiarmid noted that in another similar system, grass clippings were believed to be the contamination culprit.
McDiarmid said it could also be a sampling error, and another sample was being done Fri. Aug. 23 then taken to a lab in Kelowna that day. Because there are some very dangerous strains of e. coli, the RDCK has taken the precaution of issuing the Boil Water Notice.
Under such a notice, the RDCK and Interior Health recommend that all water system users drink boiled water or a safe alternative until further notice.
“Water intended for drinking, washing fruits and vegetables, making beverages or ice, or brushing teeth should be boiled for one minute,” a press release from the RDCK stated. “Boiled water should then be refrigerated in a clean, covered container. Customers could also choose to use bottled or distilled water, or water that has been filtered through a well-maintained treatment device.”
In accordance with the notice, owners of all public facilities must post a BOIL WATER NOTICE at all sinks or drinking water fountains accessible to the public, or turn the taps or fountains off. They must also advise their clientele verbally of the Boil Water Notice.
“The RDCK is taking additional measures to reduce risk including: flushing and draining the reservoir and adding temporary consumption level of chlorine to the water,” the press release also stated. “Interior Health has been notified. The RDCK will advise public when conditions change or water quality has improved.”