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Water Today Title May 24, 2018

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Advisory of the Day


2018/5/3

VILLAGE OF ASHCROFT, BC: ANNUAL TURBIDITY PROBLEMS BEHIND BWN



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On April 26, 2018, a Boil Water Notice (BWN) was issued for the Village of Ashcroft in British Columbia. Interior Health listed the cause as being "excessive turbidity compromising treatment and water quality." Other than that, no other reason was given.

The Village in the Thompson Cariboo Shuswap region of the BC Interior has a population of 1,558.

We contacted the Village and were able to communicate with Michelle Allen, the Chief Administrative Officer of Ashcroft.

Allen explained that "the BWN was issued because the turbidity level in the water was over 5.0 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units)." She informed WaterToday that "the Village sources their drinking water from the Thompson River and every year during the spring freshet the turbidity increases." In the past Ashcroft issued a Water Quality Advisory in the spring though "last year we had to issue a BWN and again this year," Allen said.

In the WaterToday database, there are five additional water notices in the area caused by "inadequate disinfection and treatment." The notices date between September 1994 and February 2005, so naturally we asked if these notices had any impact on the current advisory. Allen was unable to "speak to any concerns outside the Village of Ashcroft system."

For now, it is wait and see for the villagers, Allen said that they "are unable to predict how long the freshet and high water levels will remain, therefore are not able to provide a timeline for when the BWA may be lifted."

Ashcroft is not taking the hands-off approach and is working to address their annual water issues. "The Village will be commencing work on a water treatment facility that will have membrane filtration," Allen said. "This system will eliminate the turbidity from our water."

The new water treatment plant is expected to be commissioned in 2019.

cori.marshall@watertoday.ca



































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