South Peace News
If all goes well, the boil water advisory will soon be lifted for users of the Smoky River Water Commission (SRWC), perhaps by the time this story is published.
Town of Falher CAO James Bell updated residents on the town’s website Oct. 20.
“Indications from (SRWC) indicate that we will likely have our water boil advisory removed early next week,” wrote Bell.
“To be clear, the water boil advisory remains in place.
“The water plant has been within the necessary limits since Monday, Oct. 17, and has just completed their displacement of the ‘turbid’ water,” says Bell.
“It will take several days to displace the ‘turbid’ water throughout the remaining regional systems including endpoints. After all flushing is completed, we will await (Alberta Health Services) approval to remove the boil advisory for the region as a whole.”
The boil advisory began Oct. 5. Local crews tried various solutions such as switching chemicals to no avail. A water operations specialist from Alberta Environment and Parks from Edmonton was called in Oct. 15 to help find the cause.
Bell advised residents Oct. 20 the cause of the turbidity is believed to be from a small type of crustacean.
“These are incredibly common in surface waters, especially in late summer, and die in winter. They often find their way into water systems, and with the unseasonably warm weather we received, they thrived later in the season than anticipated.”
Study is being done by a microbiologist to confirm.
Bell advised against panic.
“It is worth noting that aquatic invertebrates in drinking water systems are not uncommon and they generally do not pose a health risk,” he says.
“However, they can interfere with the treatment process and/or monitoring,” he adds.
In SRWC’s case, the invertebrates were being deactivated by chlorine and were not breaching the final filtration systems.
Bell echoed earlier comments by thanking the public for their understanding and patience during the advisory.