Asvisory of the Day
POTLOTEK FIRST NATION, MI'KMAQ COMMUNITY: POTLOTEK FIRST NATION TOLD NOT TO CONSUME WATER, BATHE OR WASH CLOTHES IN IT
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A September 11 post to the Potlotek Events and Community News Facebook page recommended the Mi'kmaq community not consume, bathe, or wash clothes with their water. The post asked residents "to bring any water jugs they may have to the hall so we can prepare to supply drinking water."
An email from an Environmental Health Officer from Health Canada (HC) to the community stated that "the latest [test] results show both Manganese and Iron concentrations in the drinking water supply are in exceedance of the Aesthetic Objectives set out in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality."
The Canadian objective for iron is no more than 0.3 mg/L and 0.05 mg/L for manganese.
We communicated with Maryse Durette, Senior Media Relations Advisor for Health Canada, via email. Durette said that "iron and manganese affect the quality of the water and contributes to discolouration, foul odours, and staining of plumbing fixtures." This was why HC recommended the DWA and recommends using "an alternative source of water."
Higher concentrations of the two metallic substances can be related to seasonal change, and "there are no known health impacts associated with the reported levels of iron and manganese," Durette added.
Iron and Manganese concentrations can rise and fall naturally, and Durette clarified "there is no set timeframe for the levels to return to normal." For the time being HC will work with the Potlotek First Nation and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) to monitor the situation and provide further recommendations.
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