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Holiday Water Report 2017
HOLIDAY WATER REPORT 2017
ATLANTIC CANADA NATIONAL PARKS – DRINKING WATER OVERVIEW
By Cori Marshall
Parks Canada has waived all admission fees to its sites for 2017. There have been over 3.2 million orders for the Canada 150 Discovery pass and the pass is good for a carload of people, so the parks are gearing up for increased numbers of visitors this year. With throngs of people heading to national parks, heritage sites, and marine conservation areas we are taking a look at the state of the water in some of the National Parks in Atlantic Canada.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Gros Morne National Park
Audrey Champagne, Media Relations Officer with Parks Canada, informed us that the "potable water is safe to consume and use," in the park. Champagne added that the campsites and facilities "are on town supplied water or its own wells, [and] goes through a filtration system and is chlorinated."
There are times that potable water systems experience unforeseen issues, and Parks "deals with them as they occur," according to Champagne. In the event that the park’s water becomes contaminated or otherwise undrinkable, the park would "supply alternate supplies of water," and would ensure visitors are aware of the situation.
Terra Nova National Park
Presently the water in Terra Nova Park is of good quality and safe to drink. We were informed that "the main water supply for Newman Sound Campground and the Headquarters area is Rocky Pond, a surface supply." The rest of the park is supplied by artesian wells.
The quality of the water has been good for the past few years. Champagne added, "that in the past there have been issues with a couple of the artesian wells due to the age of the casing and changes in topography." All affected wells have been moved or redrilled and are functioning correctly.
There is one supply of water in the park that is not intended for human consumption, Sandy Pond. Champagne said that it is only to be used "for washing sand off your feet and toys after swimming."
Cape Breton Highlands National Park
The water supply in this park comes from groundwater, and additional water is purchased from the nearby municipality. We were informed that "all potable water sources are tested on a regular basis and meet the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines." Champagne added that the park "has had minor water breaks and other standard issues that were addressed as required." Boil advisories were posted at the time of the repairs and tests came back negative.
Kejimkujik National Park
We learned that the park’s water systems are "groundwater that is supplied by artesian wells." There were issues with "drinking water quality for a short period of time over the past decade." We were told that the "issues were resolved in a timely [manner]."
Should there be any issue with the water in Kejimkujik Park, Champagne said that "boil water advisories would be posted and bottled water may be provided." There are no other sources of water that could supply the park.
Cody Whynot, Owner and Guide at Whynot Adventure, said that the "water available at Keji Outfitters is outstanding, [and] rumoured to be the best in the park." Whynot confirmed that the water is "tested weekly." Apparently, the water is of such good quality Keji Outfitters staff "bring jugs of it home to drink."
There are many taps throughout the park, so visitors can top-up when needed. Whynot informed us that the outfitter rents "ceramic gravity fed filters for guests heading into the backcountry."
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island National Park
The water in PEI National Park is safe for visitors to consume, and is sampled and tested to meet federal standards. Parks informed us that "the water is 100% groundwater," and before it reaches the taps it undergoes "chlorination or ultraviolet disinfection."
The park reports the occasional "high total coliform count at some locations, but appropriate measures were taken to safeguard visitors and to resolve issues." The park provides bottled water to visitors in times when the water is not safe to consume.
Kouchibouguac National Park
There are no issues with the water in the park at the moment, and the park is supplied completely by groundwater. We were told that in the event the water is not safe to drink, "no alternate supply of water is provided." Champagne added that "there are a few locations "where permanent boil orders are in place because treatment is not available or feasible." The park has had minor issues with total coliform in the past, all issues were resolved quickly.
Parks Canada takes the visitors safety seriously and "boil and non-consumption advisories are mandatorily released and displayed at the source when required." Test frequency in the parks is dependent on the size of the system, treatment process, and water source. Federal guidelines and standards require a minimum testing and sampling rate. Parks Canada acknowledges that there can be unexpected events, and "always recommends visitors be prepared by bringing extra food and drinking water when travelling in the parks."