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City of Castlegar issues water quality advisory

City recommending that children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems drink boiled water
A boil water notice was issued for Castlegar on Sept. 1, 2023. (File image)

Submitted by City of Castlegar

Effective immediately, City of Castlegar residents serviced by the city’s water system will be under a Water Quality Advisory.

During a Water Quality Advisory, Interior Health and the city recommend that children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and anyone seeking additional protection drink boiled water (brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute) or a safe alternative such as bottled water.

For these at-risk populations, water intended for drinking, washing fruits or vegetables, making beverages or ice, or brushing teeth should be boiled for one minute and then refrigerated in a clean, covered container.

The city believes that as a result of low water levels in Lower Arrow Lake, the water turbidity has exceeded the recommended levels set by Interior Health.

Public facilities

The city asks that you:

• Display this Water Quality Advisory in common areas;

• Post the Water Quality Advisory at every sink or drinking water fountain accessible to the public; and

• Verbally advise your clientele of Water Quality Advisory as opportunities arise.

In addition, you could turn off sinks or fountains, and provide a safe alternative to tap water (e.g. bottled water).

What is turbidity?

Turbidity is a measure of how clear or cloudy the water is and “NTU” is the unit it is measured in. Particles can interfere with the disinfection process and may reduce UV and chlorine effectiveness. Turbidity in the good and fair range is invisible to the human eye.

The water quality from the Lower Arrow Lake source is typically rated as good.

Health risks increase as turbidity rises, particularly for at-risk populations such as children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites can attach themselves to the suspended particles in turbid water. These particles can then interfere with disinfection, limiting chlorine’s ability to remove or inactivate the contaminants.

The city is closely monitoring turbidity levels and will advise the public when turbidity levels improve and the Water Quality Advisory is removed. We appreciate your patience while we work to resolve this issue.

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