Kamloops trailer park has been under boil water advisory for five years - InfoNews.ca

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Kamloops trailer park has been under boil water advisory for five years

Residents of the G&M Trailer Park have been under a boil water advisory for five years.
June 30, 2017 - 9:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - Months ago officials warned residents of the G&M Trailer Park to not drink the water, but the signs are the only thing that's new: The park has been under the same boil water advisory for five years.

Boil water advisories are usually temporary measures taken while a problem is fixed, but that's not the case here. The bright green signs posted on sandwich boards covered in plastic warning residents to boil water have only been up for a few months.

Officials from the First Nations Health Authority say the boil water advisory has been in place since March 14, 2012, but fail to give a specific reason as to why it's unsafe to drink.

"At present time, there’s not adequate treatment in place to protect against the frequent high turbidity events from the South Thompson River," an emailed statement from the First Nations Health Authority says. 

The First Nations Health Authority, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and G&M management are working together to remove the boil water advisory, the statement says. 

There is no timeline on when the boil water advisory will be lifted, no indication of work being done or any remedy. Trailer park management refused to comment.

The First Nations Health Authority say there's no end in sight to the five-year boil water advisory.
The First Nations Health Authority say there's no end in sight to the five-year boil water advisory.

Some people in the park aren't troubled by it. A few have taken matters into their own hands and use filtration systems and bottled water, others have had no idea it's been in place for so long.

"When it gets real muddy looking, then no, I won't drink it," long-time park resident Robert Stocking says.

Stocking has lived in the park for six years and drinks the water straight from the tap, despite all the warnings.

"I never boil mine," he says.

But he does stop drinking it when it gets really dark.

"It was like that for about ten days this year but it's fine now," he says.

While the water doesn't bother Stocking, his wife and his granddaughter won't drink it.

"I guess people who live in town aren't used to drinking raw water," he says with a laugh.

He says newsletters and signs that management uses to advertise the boil water advisories are adequate and he says he always knows what's going on in the park.

Guy Alden has lived in the park for 11 years. He knows the water isn't fit to drink and uses a four-stage water filtration system in his house.

"I don't ever use it to brush my teeth," he says. "I guess people are just used to it and can't do anything about it here. It's definitely not how it should be."

Ron and Ruth Kerpan have lived in the park for seven years and didn't know about the water problems when they moved in.

The Kerpans are disabled and have mobility issues so a family member living in Barnhartvale has to help deliver drinking water to their home.

"Any other mobile home park in the city has paved roads and excellent water," Ron says. "Needless to say, I'm not a happy camper."

"We've never drank the water here. It comes from the river," Ruth says.

Ruth thought the advisory was off and on for years and was surprised to learn it has been ongoing since 2012.

Monique Cross has rented a home in the park for about a year and half. She was aware of potential problems with the water when she moved in, but didn't think it would be an issue.

She purchased bottled water for cooking and drinking when she saw signs around the park.

"There's a little bit of a smell to the water, but I'm not really affected by it much," she says.

But she was shocked to learn how long the park has been under the boil water advisory.

"I didn't even know," Cross says. "I just thought we should boil it because of spring run off. We've been using it for drinking water up until a couple months ago."

The G&M Trailer Park is large, with about 30 trailers on the property.
The G&M Trailer Park is large, with about 30 trailers on the property.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kim Anderson or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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