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Water Today Title March 20, 2018

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Advisory of the Day



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A community on St. Joseph's Island in Ontario is under a boil water advisory as of November 1 due to tests that showed bacterial contamination.

Algoma Public Health, released a notice shortly after saying that Richard's Landing, the largest community on St. Joseph's Island, had water samples which tested positive for the presence of total coliforms and E. coli.

According to their Clerk Administrator, Carol Trainor, the municipal water system which uses groundwater as its source, services around 150 residences as well as a number of businesses.

She said that the system had been flushed and was undergoing further testing.

"We're expecting to be it over Monday, Trainor said, adding that it would most likely be over sooner but it might take a little longer because it's now the weekend.

As for residents, they have all been hand delivered notices so that they are aware of the advisory but no bottled water is being provided at this point.

"It's only an advisory," Trainor said, "So they can use their own water, they just have to boil it."

John Bouma, Manager for Environmental Health and Communicable Disease Control with Algoma Public Health said that their team is still looking into the source of the bacteria.

"We're thinking it was an outdoor tap, but it could be someone's hands, or it could be a (faulty sample)," he said. At this point, they are leaning towards the latter possibility.

"We had a number of other samples that were clean and only one positive sample," Bouma said, "So we think it was a bad sample. We were retesting and resampling yesterday and today and we should know tomorrow whether it was an anomaly or not."

If the lab results come back soon, Bouma believes the advisory could be listed by Saturday at the earliest. "If we get (poor) results again the boil water stays on," he said" but I'd be surprised frankly if it didn't come back clean."

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