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Water Today Title April 19, 2018

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Advisory of the Day


2017/11/24

CAPE ST. GEORGE, FORTEAU, NL: DUAL E.COLI CASES ON EAST COAST



This story is brought to you in part by Energy Systems & Designs


A pair of bacterial scares befell the east coast last week when the water supply systems of two towns in Newfoundland and Labrador tested positive for E.Coli.

Cape St. George, located on the Western tip of Newfoundland and Forteau, found on the Southern edge of Labrador, both issued boil water advisories after testing positive for the noxious bacteria late last week.

E.Coli is found in the intestines of warm blooded animals and exposure can result in stomach problems like diarrhea, kidney failure and in some extreme cases, death.

Thankfully, according to Service NL, the tests managed to spot the bacteria in time and no reported cases of illness have been reported in either town.

The source of the bacteria in both cases remains a mystery.

"In Newfoundland and Labrador most communities get their drinking water from lakes, rivers, streams and ponds (surface water)," said a spokesperson for Service NL in an email to this reporter, "As E. coli is commonly present in these natural waterways due to animal activity it does not generally result from a single identifiable source."

Cape St. George's water system supports a population of 650 residents and uses water from Rouzes Brook as its source. As of publication, Service NL has informed us that their advisory has been removed after they took the necessary steps to remediate the situation ( As of publication the advisory was still listed on the provincial list however).

According to Service NL, both systems had to meet the following requirements:
  • Two satisfactory water samples are obtained, which are free of total coliform and E. coli
  • Satisfactory free chlorine residual is maintained at the entry to the distribution system
  • Free chlorine residual is detectable and maintained throughout the distribution system


The Town of Forteau, who's name can be translated as Strong Water, is home to over 400 residents. Their BWA, which was issued on November 16, is still in place until the above conditions are met.

Thanks to some terrible timing, their positive E.Coli tests occurred when the town was already under a boil water advisory while their disinfection system was offline for maintenance.

As of right now, there's no set time table for when the advisory will be removed.
























































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