Water quality advisory: Willowbrook water system users | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Water quality advisory: Willowbrook water system users

Image Credit: Wikipedia/Jenny Downing

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) in consultation with the Interior Health Authority (IHA) is issuing a Water Quality Advisory for the Willowbrook water system effective immediately until further notice. This Advisory is in response to recent bacteriological samples that have tested positive for low counts of Total Coliforms. All tested samples have been negative for E. coli.

The primary goal of the RDOS’s Water Quality Monitoring program is to ensure the safe supply of potable water to all residents connected to RDOS owned and operated systems.

The historical bacteriological data on record with the Interior Health Authority prior to the RDOS operating the system is limited however it does indicate that there have been previous events where Total Coliforms have been detected. Upon obtaining ownership of the water system, the RDOS increased the sampling frequency to meet IHA’s current expectations. The RDOS will also be looking to install dedicated sampling locations throughout the system to further enhance the reliability of the monitoring program.

The associated health risks have been assessed to be minimal at this time resulting in a Water Quality Advisory being issued and should not be confused with a Boil Water Notice. A Water Quality Advisory allows the RDOS to update all residents on the current status of a water system.

A Water Quality Advisory for bacteriological quality typically targets the following demographic (not the entire population of the system), children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and anyone seeking additional protection. The Interior Heath Authority recommends for those in these groups to use a safe alternate source of water, or to boil water for all drinking, oral hygiene and food preparation/cooking purposes. Water should be brought to full boil and allowed to boil for at least 1 minute.

The RDOS would also like to remind all business owners/operators (bed and breakfasts) and public facilities operators that it is the responsibility of said establishments to notify their customers of the Water Quality Advisory.

The RDOS will be working with the IHA on developing an plan to try to determine the source of these Total Coliform counts within the water system.

For further information, please contact the Public Works Department at (250) 490-4135 or toll free 1-877-610-3737.

For after-hours water emergencies call Regional Dispatch at 250-490-4141.

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