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Water Today Title October 26, 2020

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Advisory of the day


This story is brought to you in part by Energy Systems & Designs

A boil water advisory (BWA) for Burt McKnight's Grocery Limited in Auburn, Nova Scotia was issued on May 11, 2018. Besides providing some grocery items for the community, the store is also the Canada Post outlet and has an apartment above it.

The community is home to the second oldest Anglican church in the province, built in 1790. It is also near the popular Oaklawn Farm which began as a traditional farm in the early 1970's but has since become what they call a zoo-farm and is open to the public. Ten minutes away is the community of Greenwood where Auburn and other neighbouring communities get most of their services.

Auburn is a very small community in Kings County, in the western part of the province along the Bay of Fundy. Kings County is decentralized and filled will smaller communities whose main economy is farming since early settlement. Farmers in this area focus on a farm-to-table ideal and engage in a growing wine industry, both of which attract many tourists.

Burt McKnight's Grocery Limited has a well that serves the grocery store and the upstairs tenants. Media Relations Advisor for Nova Scotia Environment Chrissy Matheson said "a water quality sample was collected on May 9 during an audit of the registered supply. The sample was positive for Total Coliform bacteria."

According to Health Canada's Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, standards for Total Coliforms are counts of 0/100ml. Health Canada's Guidelines explain that "in non disinfected groundwater the presence of Total Coliforms may indicate that the system is vulnerable to contamination, or it may be a sign of bacterial regrowth."

As regulation stipulates, when the owner of the store advised Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) of the irregularity, NSE informed them to alert their upstairs tenants of the boil water order, which they did. Matheson said "resampling will happen this week. The order will be lifted once the department receives clean samples."

A BWA is removed when the conditions that caused the BWA have ceased and when two samples indicate good water quality within twenty-four hours of each other.

As a commercial establishment that sells food products, the store must take special precautions in the meantime. Any vegetable sprinklers, ice machines and soft drink beverage lines must be disconnected and disinfected before being put to use again after the BWA.


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