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Water Today Title August 4, 2020

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Advisory of the Day



This story is brought to you in part by Borrum Energy Solutions

By Ronan O'Doherty

Bacterial contamination in the water system of Port Hope Simpson has led to a boil water advisory (BWA) being issued.

The town, located in south eastern Labrador, started informing the 400 affected residents of the BWA on February 8 after a positive test for E.Coli.

The bacteria found in the water system live in the intestines of warm blooded animals and certain strains can be highly dangerous for humans if ingested.

They can enter the water system through agricultural run-off or sewage contamination.

Port Hope Simpson sources their water from Arnold's Brook and Pond after which it is filtered at Notley's Drive Water and Wastewater plant. The plant was a recipient of a Clean Water and Wastewater grant in 2016 to fund a $950,000 project.

According to Service Newfoundland (NL), this is the only indication of E.Coli contamination in the last five years and no one has been reported ill as a result of it so far.

"The municipality responsible for this public drinking water system has been advised to increase and monitor chlorine levels until the required number of samples produce satisfactory results," said Gina MacArthur, a spokesperson for Service NL, adding, "This is standard practice in such cases."

While they could not commit to a specific end date for the advisory, they said it will remain in place until:

1. One satisfactory water samples are obtained, which are free of total coliform and E. coli 2. Satisfactory free chlorine residual is maintained at the entry to the distribution system 3. Free chlorine residual is detectable and maintained throughout the distribution system

Established in 1934, the town has supported itself through forestry and fishing. To bolster those industries, adventure tourism has started to become a viable source of capital, with visitors enjoying whale watching, dog sledding and iceberg spotting.


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