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City of Castlegar lifts water quality advisory

The precautionary advisory was put into place on Sept. 1
A City of Castlegar boil water notice has been lifted. File photo: Tom Zytaruk

On Tuesday, the City of Castlegar rescinded a water quality advisory that was issued on Sept. 1.

During the advisory, Interior Health and the city recommended that children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and anyone seeking additional protection drink boiled water or a safe alternative such as bottled water.

“This decision was made in collaboration with Interior Health now that turbidity levels have improved to within acceptable limits. This was determined following monitoring and assessment of the water turbidity levels over the weekend,” said the city in a Sept. 5 statement.

The city says the advisory was due to water turbidity that exceeded the recommended levels set by Interior Health. The city believes the turbidity was a result of low water levels in Lower Arrow Lake.

Residents may want to consider flushing a tap for a few minutes if they have not been using their water during the Water Quality Advisory.

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.

READ MORE: 18 cases in COVID outbreak at Trail hospital

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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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