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Water Today Title September 18, 2021

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Advisory of the Day


brought to you in part by

Flood Control Canada


The Post Office/Gas Station/Liquor Vendor and General Store at Anahim Lake, BC has been operating under a Boil Water Advisory since September 2010.

The community of 1500 is situated on the east edge of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, an area renowned for its colorful mountains, the Rainbow Range. Anahim Peak graces the landscape as a cone shaped formation loaded with obsidian, a smooth volcanic glass known to maintain a smooth cutting edge, a valuable trade commodity from a time when drinking from a mountain stream was common practise.

Most people still hunt and fish here, and stock up on supplies in “town”, referring to Williams Lake, 320 km to the west. In the meantime, the Anahim Lake Trading Company provides just about everything else.

Deana Wood spoke with WaterToday by phone from the store in Anahim Lake.

“We have had the BWA for years. It doesn’t really affect anything. Everyone drinks bottled water here, and we use bottled water for making coffee. It's a shallow well, like most people have. We put in a Rainfresh water system with filters and UV, but it's not commercial grade, so we still don’t comply,” Ms. Wood explains.

According to Island Health, residential water treatment units are generally not designed to destroy all biological pathogens. “There are many types of units on the market and each is designed to address specific water quality issues. It is recommended that you check with the unit’s manufacturer to know exactly what your unit can do.” To be on the safe side, boiling the water for at least one minute is still recommended, for drinking, food preparation and oral hygiene.

As far as the Coast Health Authority is concerned, this advisory will remain in effect. The public is reminded that shallow wells can become contaminated in a number of ways.

“Microbiological contamination can include bacteria, viruses and protozoan parasites such as Giardia (beaver fever) and Cryptosporidium. Health effects from drinking contaminated water may include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea”, according to public notice on the Coast Health website.

As long as bottled water is available, the Anahim Lake Trading Company is under no compulsion to remedy the BWA. Business is guaranteed, with or without potable tap water. In a sense, Anahim Lake folks have been boiling water almost as long as the town’s most celebrated son has been playing our national sport.

In 2015, NHL history was made as a goaltender took all four of the league’s individual play awards in a single season. Reccognized as top goaltender by International Ice Hockey Federation, this gold medal Olympian and World Cup champion is nowhere near finished setting records.

Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Price grew up around Anahim Lake, where his mom, Lynda Price is currently the Chief of the Ulkatcho First Nation. If you decide to visit, be sure to stop in at the General Store and say hello!


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