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Water Today Title December 15, 2017

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Dailies - Today in Water

Update 06/30/14
BWA of the day
Update 7/1/14- Advisory Lifted


A chlorinator malfunction caused a water pump to shut off in Geraldton on June 29. The resulting loss of pressure in the distribution system triggered a boil water advisory. Had the water tower not been off-line the advisory would not have been necessary.

"The water tower is being relined,' says Brian Aaltonen. "As a result there was no back-up water so we had to issue a boil water advisory. It affects all 1,800 residents."

According to Aaltonen, the first tests sent to the lab in Thunder Bay came back clean, and the town is waiting for the results of the second samples to lift the advisory.

"Residents were notified on the town's website, by radio, on the CBC, local cable and door-to-door. Volunteers at the Fire Department even pitched in the help distribute the notices," says Aaltonen.

Update 06/24/14
BWA of the day


The whole village of Wabowden (pop.600) iS under boil water advisory due to a planned Manitoba Hydro power outage. "We received notice of the shut down on June 222 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, about a week ago,"says town receptionist Nancy. The water treatment operator is up there now taking samples and when two consecutive ones come back clean, the advisory will be lifted". Accroding to Nancy, residents were advised through the town's facebook page, posters and phone calls.

This is the sixth BWA issued in Wabowden since 2012, the last one was issued in February 2014 due to a water line break and system depressurization.

According to a Manitoba government document, Wabowden is a small community nestled between Bowden, Bucko, and Rock Island lakes. Situated near the geographic centre of Manitoba, it was first located at Setting Lake which is part of the historic Grass River fur trade route. With the arrival of the railway in the 1920s, the community relocated to its present site on Bowden Lake.

Update 06/22/14
Alberta Flooding


On June 19. E.coli was detected in samples taken from a well in the Village Alpin sector of L'Anse-Saint-Jean, QC, putting 200 residents under BWA. The town's operations manager, Robin Pelletier, believes it was either a sampling or lab error but he awaits the results of tests that will be taken this week and sent to the lab in Quebec city. Results will not be known until next week.

The well water is chlorinated before distribution but there is no filtration system.

Located in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, L'Anse-Saint-Jean is a member of the Association des plus beaux villages du Québec, a network of 36 authentic heritage villages located in remarquable landscapes throughout the province. In 1997, with a view to boosting tourism, the town's citizens held a referendum to turn the village into the continent's first "municipal monarchy". The monarchists won 73.9% of the vote, with Denys Tremblay becoming King Denys I.

Update 06/21/14
Alberta Flooding


This article is brought to you by Water Solutions

Rainfall warnings have ended in southern Alberta and flood waters are starting to recede. Some communities do remain under a state of local emergency, including several Blood Tribe communities still not able to return to their homes.

As of 4pm yesterday, the state of Emergency was still in effect for the Blood Indian Reserve, although water levels of the Belly River have peaked and are expected to start receding.

According to the Blood Chief & Council Facebook page, water delivery and road repairs services remain under stress and water trucks may not be able to reach all rural residents. Bottled water continues to be available at the Flood Reception Center for those who need it and for residents whose cistern or well has been contaminated.

"The situation is under control," says Lacey Eagle Plume at the Flood Reception Center. "We have had water and food donations, people are charging half price for skids and the bottled depot is giving out free drinking bottles."

According to Plume, all the people are working together, delivering food and water to those without vehicles and shut-ins. "But we won't know the extent of well and cistern damages until the flood recedes", she says.

Update 06/21/14
Blue-green algae


This article is brought to you by Riverdale Water Management

Alberta Health Services issued the year's first blue-green advisory on June 20 for Lake Isle located northwest of Edmonton. Blue-green algae or cyanobacteria produce a toxin (poison) that can cause serious illness to animals or humans who drink or have skin contact with water containing this toxin.

The blue-green advisory for Lake Isle has been issued every year since we started monitoring them in 2009, although every year it is issued earlier in the summer. There were 35 blue-green advisories in Alberta last summer.

Blue-green algae tends to reappear in the same locations every year. According to Alyre Chiasson, biologist at the University of Moncton, "the Cyanobacteria form a very thin layer on the bottom of lakes and rivers after their summer growth, and while the organic material decomposes the spores remain and give rise to new cells in the spring".

While Sudbury & District Health Unit has not not issued any warming for its areas this year, it published a reminder to the public on June 17 that since 2006, 59 blue-green algae blooms have been confirmed in 26 bodies of water within the area.

According to the Health Unit "Blue-green algae are some of the oldest life on earth and are usually present in low numbers. Blue-green algae can rapidly increase in warm, undisturbed surface water that receives a lot of sunlight. When this occurs, they can form blooms that discolour the water or produce floating rafts of scum on the surface of the water."

Update 06/20/14
BWA of the day


Aupaluk is the smallest community in Nunavik, Québec. The 195 residents of this small northern hamlet get their water delivered by a tanker truck, from Monday to Friday, as the ground is frozen for most of the year. In order to do this the driver must fill up his tank many times a day. The water is then chlorinated according to a pre-established recipe.

"On June 10, E.coli was detected in the tanker's water, during a routine weekly test. It is believed that water in the tank had been contaminated by insufficiently treated water", says Angela Petru, Communications Coordinator with the Kativik Regional Government, in an email to watertoday.ca.

The advisory affects the entire village and residents were advised by radio communications and notices in public places. The tanker truck has since been disinfected, and a series of water tests conducted. The BWA is expected to be lifted today as two consecutive negative results for E.coli have been received.

According to Petru, infrastructure improvements are in the works for this summer. A UV system will be added to the current chlorination treatment and improvements to the winter reservoir will allow water to be accessed directly, rather than from the river in winter.

Update 06/15/14
BWA of the day


Among the 16 Boil Water Advisories (BWA) issued last week in Canada, there was one for Kernested Subdivision issued by the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, in Manitoba on June 10. According to a government spokesperson, Kernested is a subdivision of The Narrows on Lake Manitoba. The advisory was due to the absence of disinfection in the community's water system, and it affects 100 people.

The thing is, we can't find Kernested anywhere. Neither Wikipedia, nor Google maps nor even Manitoba maps have any information on its location.

We did find a Kernsted Beach within the rural municipality of Siglunes which is 36 km from The Narrows on Lake Manitoba. Perhaps this is where our 100 people should be boiling their water. It is where 100 people had to be evacuated during the flood of 2011 which brought Lake Manitoba's water levels to their highest levels in 50 years.

According to a CBC report on June 13, 2011, "At least 260 properties were put under mandatory evacuation in the Rural Municipalities of Coldwell, Siglunes, Eriksdale and Grahamdale. Of that, more than 100 properties were in Siglunes on Kernsted Beach and Miss Ellie Drive east of the Lake Manitoba Narrows."

If this is where our boil water advisory is, it is 75 km northwest of the province's capital, Winnipeg. Need one be reminded that Canada is a vast and sparsely populated country?

Update 06/12/14
BWA of the day


Kernsted beach a subdivision at Lake Manitoba Narrows was issued a boil water advisoy on June 10. According to a Manitoba government spokesperson the advisory ws issued by the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority due to the absence of any disinfection system in the community. The advisory affects 100 people.

Kernsted Beach was among the many communities under mandatory evacuation during the floods of June 2011.

Update 06/11/14
BWA of the day


A power outage wich caused the town's water pumps to stop functioning triggered a preventive boil water advisory in Saint-Chrysostome, QC on June 10, 2014. "Only the residents on the municipal acqueduct are affected, about 600 of the town's 2,600 population," says town receptionist Linda. Residents who had signed up were notified by Textoville's automatic SMS messaging system, otherwise notices were posted on the town's website and in public places and restaurants.

Saint-Chrysostome is located 57 km south of Montreal in the Montérégie region. Its claim to fame is the annual Demolition Derby sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. The not-for-profit event features over 250 vehicles and has donated $213,000 to Leucan over the past 10 years. Leucan is a charitable organization committed to helping cancer-stricken children and their families.

Update 06/10/14
BWA of the day


A boil water advisory was issued on June 6 for Zones-1 and 2 of the town of Gibsons, BC after E.coli was detected in some of the water samples sent for testing. The source of water for this sector of Gibsons is untreated groundwater and the advisory affects about three quarters of the town's 4,400 population.

The system has been hypochlorinated since the advisory was issued, however low-level E.coli contamination was still detected in some samples. Results for the latest tests are expected within days. The town is working with Vancouver Coastal Health to determine the cause of the bacterial presence as there have been no such issues up until now. Our records indicate that there have been no water advisories in Gibsons since we started reporting them in 2006.

Gibsons is located in southwestern British COlumbia. Although it is on the mainland, it is not accessible by road. Vehicle access is by BC Ferries from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, a 40 minute crossing. Gibsons is best known in Canada as the setting of the popular and long running CBC Television series The Beachcombers, which aired from 1972 to 1990.

Update 06/06/14
Do Not Consume


A Do Not Consume advisory was issued on June 2 for the Maison des Papillons Daycare in Saint-Georges, Québec. 44 children between the ages of 0 and 5 are affected. "I don't know much about it, says manager Dorothée Bilodeau," It happens once or twice a year. They tell us to post notices and advise parents. We never use tap water for drinking anwyway, it smells like sulfur, so the children are always given bottled water. The advisory means we will also cook with bottled water."

The daycare gets its water from an artisian well. According to an unnamed source, samples are sent once every two weeks for analysis. The reason for the current advisory is elevated turbidity. A call for more information was put in to Pomerleau who is responsible for the water in the daycare. We await.

Update 06/05/14
Holiday Water


This article is brought to you by Graystone Environmental Law Office

As we do every summer, we have re-posted the Ontario Provincial parks where water should be boiled or not consumed. This year's list looks pretty much like last year's; it includes Aaron, Algonquin, Biscotasi Lake, Esker Lake, Fairbanks, Finlayson Point, Fushimi Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ivanhoe Lake, Lake Superior, MacLeod, Massasauga, Mississagi, Nagagamisis, Oastler Lake, Rene Brunelle, Silent Lake, Sioux Narrows, Wakami and White Lake. A new park also makes its first appearance on our list this year, Missinaibi. Other parks which used to make our list are no longer operating due to the lack of funds to maintain them. This is the case for The Shoals and Greenwater provincial parks.

According tho the Ministry of Natural Resources, "In deciding which parks to re-designate, we looked at many factors including low visitation rates, low cost recovery, and the upcoming need for investment in capital upgrades to remain operational. These decisions were difficult to make, but they were necessary to ensure the ministry's financial sustainability and to help the government balance its budget".

In 2013, in addition to Springwater Provincial Park, the following five camping parks were re-designated as non-operating: Caliper Lake, Greenwater, Obatanga, The Shoals and Tidewater.

Update 06/03/14
BWA of the day


The whole town of Fairmont is under a water quality advisory due to high turbidity in the water system. Front Desk Manager of Fairmont Hot Springs, Joel, reiterated the fact that this type of advisory is issued every year around the same time. This year, the water quality advisory was downgraded from a two-week-long boil water notice. No individuals have reported health effects from consuming the water.

Update 06/02/14
BWA of the day


The Village of Goodsoil, Saskatchewan was issued a boil water advisor on May 30th at 1pm as the result of planned water main repairs. The entire Village of 281 people, according to the last census, is affected by the advisory. Town Administrator Fred explained that they will be sending in water samples for testing today and tomorrow, with the hope of lifting the advisory by Thursday or Friday of this week.

Goodsoil is located in the Rural Municipality of Beaver River, in Northwestern Saskatchewan. Of those who completed post-secondary education, the majority focused on architecture and engineering technologies. A whopping 52% of the population of Goodsoil walks or bicycles to work on a daily basis.

Update 06/01/14
BWA of the day


The Town of Harbour Grace, Newfoundland has been issued a boil water advisory as of Thursday afternoon. Low levels of chlorine in the water system caused the precautionary advisory, which affects approximately 3,000 people, according to the Town.

Testing will be conducted on Monday and Tuesday of next week, and results are expected to be returned to Harbour Grace by Wednesday, hopefully allowing the advisory to be lifted by mid-week.

Harbour Grace is located in the Avalon Peninsula, 100 kilometres from St. John's. The Town was founded in 1517 by France's Francois I, and is famously known for its connection to one of the most successful pirates in history, Peter Easton. Easton was actively pirating in the area from approximately 1611 to 1614, though he had previously been a loyal servant to the English Crown.

Update 05/30/14
BWA of the day


The community of Freelton has been issued a boil water advisory due to the presence of bacteria in the water supply. Routine water testing conducted on the water tower's contents earlier this week triggered the BWA, which is anticipated to be lifted tonight or tomorrow. The first tests were submitted last night, explained Wyatt of the Water and Wastewater Division. More tests are being conducted at present.

Freelton, a community within Hamilton, Ontario, has a population of approximately 1000. The residents were alerted to the boil water advisory via radio, door-to-door notices, and media releases. An employee at the Freelton Antique Mall says she got a phone call from the City of Hamilton explaining that the community had been put under a precautionary boil water advisory.

The City of Hamilton is located in Southern Ontario, on the western and southern banks of Lake Ontario. Hamilton Harbour has a large sandbar, created by the last ice age. The last census of Hamilton indicates that 24.5% of the population are immigrants to Canada, with the largest portion of this number being from Italy.

Update 05/30/14
BWA of the day


The Town of Fort Frances in Northwestern Ontario struggled this winter with high numbers of frozen water lines, and the problem is not yet resolved. Environmental and Facilities Superintendant Douglas Herr explained that there are still 4-5 frozen water lines, though they are anticipated to be thawed by next week due to the warmer weather as of late.

The lines in question are residential service lines to individual houses. These homes have been connected to temporary water lines via neighbour hookups which allow access to running water despite the frozen piping.

Fort Frances is part of the Rainy River District, whose location on the Minnesota border provides the region with excellent access to both Canada and the United States. Within Canada, the location is suited for access to both the Prairies and the bustle of Southern Ontario.

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Update 05/29/14
BWA of the day


The Ashcroft Community Water System has been placed under a boil water advisory due to increased turbidity resulting from spring runoff. "The water is clean but the river is very high, with increased turbidity, so the water looks like it has a colour," explained Nancy at the Town of Ashcroft.

"It's melting in the mountains, so the runoff is increasing the turbidity," she added, noting that this is an annual occurrence and that residents are familiar with BWA practices. Public notices have been posted to alert the 1600 residents of the advisory, which is expected to remain in place for the near future. "We're leaving [the advisory] on as the turbidity is fluctuating, so that way we're not putting it on one day and taking it off the next."

Ashcroft is located on the banks of the Thompson River in the Interior of British Columbia. The Village was originally settled during the Gold Rush in the 1860s, and prospered due to its role as a transportation centre.

Update 05/28/14
BWA of the day


Harbour Fish N' Fries in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia is excited to report that the boil water advisory placed on the restaurant in June 2013 should be lifted at the end of this week. The boil water advisory was put in place as a result of one in five tests confirming a little too much bacterial coliform in the water system.

Owner Paul says they drilled a well two days ago, and they are halfway done the electrical and rigging systems. Although the boil water advisory did not heavily impact the business, Paul said, they're looking forward to having an unlimited supply of fresh, clean water.

Online reviews of the restaurant call Harbour Fish N' Fries an 'amazing local secret' and urge tourists to visit for a delicious meal at a great value. The restaurant is located at the mouth of the Musquodoboit River on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. The rural community of Musquodoboit Harbour is part of the Halifax Regional Municipality, and lies 45 kilometres east of the City of Halifax.

Update 05/28/14
BWA of the day


The Trail and Highland subdivision in the City of Swift Current in Saskatchewan has been under a precautionary drinking water advisory since Friday morning. The approximately 3,000-4,000 residents were informed of the PDWA via media releases on Facebook and Twitter, and through the local radio stations.

According to Mitch Minken, the General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations in Swift Current, the water main break occurred around 4am on Friday. The break was repaired Friday afternoon, and the first water tests were submitted on Monday morning. The second tests were sent to Regina on Tuesday morning, and the City is expecting to hear about the results this afternoon. If the test comes back clear of contamination, Swift Current will utilise the same methods to lift the advisory as were used to put it in place.

Swift Current is located in southwestern Saskatchewan, and was established as a settlement in 1883. The City is the home to Saskatchewan's oldest theatre, Lyric Theatre, which was built in 1912. Other historical buildings in the City include The Imperial Hotel, built in 1903, the Swift Current Railway Station, built from 1907-1912, and the Court House.

Update 05/26/14
BWA of the day


Dale Leterte is waiting for a $300 part that will allow the boil water advisory issued to his Chippin'Dales Famous Fish'N Chips to be lifted. He's not too sure what was wrong with the monitor that is hooked up to his UV treatment system, 'but the thing kept beeping and beeping and beeping", he says. On the advice of a plumber, he has ordered a new part.

Luckily, tap water is not used to make Dale's famous fish and chips and Customers have been given bottled water over the past weeks. Nonetheless, business is real slow, it is 5 degrees C in East Bay today and "it feels like it going to snow".

East Bay is a bay of the Bras d'Or Lake on Cape Breton Island, it has one public beach (East Bay Sandbar) and a large number of summer cottages with beach front property. East Bay is famous for its Fish & Chips.

Update 05/22/14
BWA of the day


One house on Scott Street in Maniwaki is under boil water advisory. According to Public Works Director, Guy O'Leary,"there was a break in the feed line to the residence and no matter how many people are affected, we report all water advisories to Quebec Environment".

Update 05/22/14
Drinking Water Safety


Nova Scotia's Auditor Genereal's report released on Wednesday, finds that Environment, the Department responsible for monitoring drinking water, is not adequately monitoring public drinking water supplies to ensure public safety risks are appropriately addressed. According to the report, audits of municipal facilities were generally conducted on schedule; however registered facilities are not audited every three years as required. There were also instances in which required audit procedures were not completed or water samples were not obtained from facilities within 30 days after a boil water advisory was removed.

In Nova Scotia, Water supplies are divided into two groups. There are 84 municipal water 5.6 supplies in the Province which provide drinking water to approximately 60 percent of Nova Scotians. These supplies tend to be larger, more complex operations. There are also approximately 1,600 registered water supplies which are owned and operated by private organizations, not-for-profits, and government. These supplies include facilities such as restaurants, apartments, campgrounds, schools and nursing homes.

Our records show that there are on average 30 to 40 boil water advisories at any time in Nova Scotia. These tend to occur mainly in Public Individual Water Supplies such as community centres, halls, libraries, restaurants and food outlets.

Update 05/15/14
BWA of the day


The Town of Winterton, Newfoundland has been put under a boil water advisory until further notice. "There was an OHS [Operational Health and Safety] inspection that revealed an equipment deficiency at the chlorine house," explained acting town clerk Suzanne. The 490 residents were then notified of the boil water advisory through the website, local cable, and via notices posted on public buildings.

Winterton was initially called Scilly Cove, but was renamed for the Premier of Newfoundland, Sir James Spearman Winter, in 1912. The Town is located on the eastern side of Newfoundland Island, and was first settled in 1675 by Captain John Berry of Britain.

Update 05/15/14
BWA of the day


A water main break on Tuesday afternoon in the Town of Kedgwick, New Brunswick left municipal employees scrambling to post notices before the advisory took effect. General Manager of the municipality, Francis Berube, says they "did the maximum we could," to tell residents of the advisory. The pipe initially broke in the early afternoon though the town waited to begin repairs until the evening, giving the 900-1000 residents time to be alerted to the advisory.

"We had to open up the pipe to fix the problem," explained Francis, "so we started notices a few hours before we had to force people to boil their water. The pipe was fixed around the dinner hour, so people had five hours to find out about the advisory [before it was in place]." Paper notices were posted on every public building including stores, restaurants, banks, and offices. The advisory was also broadcast on local radio, and the town office called all working buildings including the post office, grocery stores, and school.

The name "Kedgwick" is of Micmac in origin, and means "troublesome current" or "meeting of two rivers". The Town is situated nearby the Restigouche and Kedgwick Rivers which offer exceptional fishing and paddling opportunities. Kedgwick is located in the Appalachian Mountains, within Restigouche County, and is well-known for its beautiful forests.

Update 05/14/14
BWA of the day


Four homes located in blocks 12 and 13 in the Town of Leoville Saskatchewan have been issued a boil water advisory. Lots five and seven of block 12, and lots two and three of block 13 are affected by a break in the curb stop by a water hydrant in Leoville. Office Assistant Connie Laventure says the first water samples will be sent out today, and the advisory should be lifted in the near future.

Leoville has a higher population of Aboriginals, at 43.1%, than the Province of Saskatchewan in which 14.9% of the population identifies as being Aboriginal. One quarter (25%) of employed Leoville residents walk or bike to work, with the remainder using public transportation (6%), riding as a passenger (6%) or driving independently (64%). Primary industries include agriculture and resource-based industries, and healthcare and social services.

Update 05/14/14
BWA of the day


The small Town of Englehart in Northern Ontario suffered multiple technical failures which resulted in a boil water advisory for the 1,500 residents. Sue Renaud, Town Administrator, says that initially the hydro went out in the town. "It wasn't out for too long, but it was a transformer that blew. They got the hydro up and running, but not feeding the plant. Then the generator kicked in but then it went down."

Despite these difficulties, the advisory is expected to be lifted within the next couple of days as the initial water samples have already been sent in for testing. Sue says they went door to door telling residents of the boil water advisory, listed the information on both Facebook and Twitter, put an alert on the television, and had it broadcast on the local radio and website.

Englehart is located in the Timiskaming District of Northern Ontario. The Town was established as a rest stop at the half-way point between Cochrane and North Bay for the Timiskaming & Northern Ontario Railroad.

Update 05/13/14
BWA of the day


A water main break in the Town of Biggar, Saskatchewan has caused the 600 block of Main Street to be put under a boil water advisory. The advisory affects 7 houses, but no businesses. According to Kathy Sarvas, the clerk-steno for Biggar, they alerted residents as they "went around with a notice and knocked on the doors," of affected homes.

Biggar is located 50 minutes west of Saskatoon, and uses the motto, "New York is Big, But this is Biggar," which was coined in 1909. The three main natural resources in the Town are potash, sodium sulphate, and water, though agricultural production is the driving force behind Biggar's economy. Approximately 355,000,000 gallons of wastewater are recycled by the Town each year, as the water is used for crop irrigation after treatment.

Update 05/13/14
BWA of the day


Echo Valley Provincial Park has been issued a standard seasonal start-up precautionary drinking water advisory as of May 12. Typically the advisory would be in place for a week, though this year "when we fired up the water system we had a leak, so we have to do some digging up of lines today and tomorrow," explained Dallas Chorneyko, Acting Southeast Park Area Manager. "We then have to do two sets of three samples that have to come back clean, then [the advisory] will be removed."

The Park posts notices at all entrances, and most water dispensing stations. Echo Valley Provincial Park is located less than an hour northeast of Regina, and offers an expansive list of activities for guests, including: mini golf, hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, and a variety of games. Additionally, the Park provides a home to more than 225 native bird species, thereby creating exceptional bird watching opportunities.

Other parks are also under the standard drinking water advisory, including:

Bullet Cypress Hills Provincial Park
Bullet Danielson Provincial Park
Bullet Douglas Provincial Park
Bullet Duck Mountain Provincial Park
Bullet Good Spirit Provincial Park
Bullet Greenwater Lake Provincial Park
Bullet Kipabiskau Regional Park
Bullet Little Loon Lake Regional Park
Bullet Makaw Lake Regional Park
Bullet Meadow Lake Provincial Park
Bullet Moose Mountain Provincial Park
Bullet Nickel Lake Regional Park
Bullet Palliser Regional Park
Bullet Pike Lake Provincial Park
Bullet Thompson Lake Regional Park

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