Asvisory of the Day
SMITHERS, BC: BC TOWN WITH PRISTINE WATER SEES RARE BWA
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The Town of Smithers, British Columbia has been under a preventative boil water advisory since September 1st due to consecutive water sample results containing coliform bacteria.
According to the town's Chief Administrative Officer, Anne Yanciw, water issues within the town are more than rare.
"Smithers is one of those super lucky communities that has never, ever had a boil water notice," Yanciw said, "So for this community it feels like a bigger thing than for say another town that has one every couple years."
The town credits a protected aquifer with a large clay barrier for their previously untainted water. Yanciw said that the water's so clean that it doesn't needed to be treated with chlorine or other disinfection agents at all.
"Our water has always tested where we don't require any treatment whatsoever," she said, "We do an annual shock with very low levels of chlorine but that's about it."
Currently, the town is cleaning its reservoirs and running a much stronger chlorination cycle thoroughly through the system. "This concentration is ten times our annual regime," Yanciew said, "We also have a very complicated directional flow occurring and because we will need the disinfection to cycle through the system to begin the process of sampling, we estimate (that the advisory could last) anywhere from ten to fifteen days."
In conjunction with Northern Health BC, a number of sites across town have been chosen for sampling once the disinfection agent has run its course.
For spreading the news of the advisory around, Yanciew told us that town is relying on three methods: media releases, the town website and social media.
"Our mayor has an extremely active social media page that he uses for town notifications," she said. Smithers is located close to two provincial parks and is well known for being a jaunt away from Hudson Bay mountain, a well lauded ski resort.
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