Advisory of the Day
108 MILE RANCH, BC: E.COLI BWN FOR BC COMMUNITY
This story is brought to you in part by Lawson Mills Biomass Solutions Ltd
A Boil Water Notice is in effect for the approximately 1100 homes located within the resort community of 108 Mile Ranch in the Cariboo Region of British Columbia.
The notice was issued on November 22 after their groundwater supplied system had two lab confirmed positive E. coli results in their last two samples according to BCs Interior Health.
As readers of WaterToday will know, E.Coli can be very dangerous when consumed by people or their pets, so the boil water notice was issued quickly. Interior Health has informed this reporter that there have been no confirmed reports of illness as a result of drinking the water yet.
"You know what, I don't know, "said Peter Hughes, Manager of Environmental Service for the Cariboo Regional District, when asked about the source of the E.Coli, "I'm leaning towards lab error or contaminated samples but I don't think we'll definitively know ever."
To be on the safe side, Hughes said that they have shocked the system as well as the reservoir and have flushed it thoroughly for good measure. They are now seeing chlorine residual throughout the system and the first of two tests has come back clean. The second test was completed on Monday afternoon and they're hoping to get the all clear by late Tuesday or early Wednesday in order to lift the notice.
Construction is ongoing on a somewhat controversial new water treatment system for the community. One of its primary purposes will be to remove manganese that is found in the water drawn from the aquifer. The new system will be using chlorine to disinfect the water, which Hughes said is unpopular with a lot of the residents who will be using it. Although a one-time shock chlorination was performed due to the presence of E.coli, the current system does not chlorinate the water.
"There's always political pushback against chlorination but we're building this treatment plant with chlorination and I will be chlorinating," Hughes said.
While the project was scheduled to be completed by February of 2018, Hughes said that it's more likely that they'll be looking at end of March before it's up and running, on account of the devastating wildfires that swept through British Columbia this past summer.