Interior Health issues response to fuel spill questions

Many Slocan Valley residents still have ongoing concerns about their drinking water.

In the wake of ongoing questions from some Slocan Valley residents over the safety of their drinking water, Interior Health has issued a release answering several questions that have been asked.

At least two Facebook groups are collecting photos and witness reports to document what some are calling an enironmental crisis that will linger for years. On Friday, July 26, a tanker overturned and spilled almost all of its 35,000 litre load of jet fuel into Lemon Creek.

A lawsuit has also been initiated against the Province of British Columbia and the corporate entities operating as Executive Flight Centre.

Here are the questions that Interior Health has provided answers to:

 

Q: Why did Interior Health lift the Do Not Use water orders?

A: Interior Health’s Medical Health Officer lifted the orders after careful review of the testing that was done on each section of the Kootenay and Slocan rivers by the consultants handling the clean-up. The decisions also took into consideration a groundwater risk assessment and daily reports on the progress of the clean-up. Interior Health was aware that there were still pockets of fuel on the river but was satisfied that the amounts were relatively small, and that the clean-up process would contain the material. The remaining fuel represents a very low health risk and was not justification for maintaining the generalized, broad Do Not Use order.

Q: How do I know my water is safe to drink or swim in?

A: If you do not see or smell fuel in your water, it is suitable for use. However, recognizing there remains some localized areas of fuel, Interior Health is advising the public to avoid locations on the river where the fuel is visible or fumes persist, and if their water supply smells of fuel vapour, they should not use the water and should contact Interior Health’s Health Protection staff at 250-420-2220.

Q: What do I do if I see or smell fuel in my water?

A: IH has posted flushing instructions on its website (www.interiorhealth.ca). If residents smell fuel odor in their water after flushing their system, they should contact Interior Health. Health Protection staff will assess the information and provide advice about next steps.

Q: Should I get my water tested?

A: Interior Health is not recommending that everyone should test their water. If, after flushing of the water system, there is no odor in the water, then there is no reason to be concerned about possible adverse health effects. If residents still wish to test their water, residents can contact Interior Health at 250-420-2220 – Health Protection staff will provide a list of some analytical laboratories capable of doing that testing.

Q: Where can I access results of water testing?

A: This data will be shared with the public early next week by the consulting company that conducted the testing, and Interior Health will make these results available on our website (www.interiorhealth.ca).

Q: Has anyone been sick as a result of the jet fuel spill? What do I do if I feel sick?

A: Early in the spill response, Interior Health did receive reports about symptoms of nausea and vomiting, as a result of inhalation of fuel vapours. This affected a small number of people. Interior Health has not been advised by physicians of any other cases. However, Interior Health advises that anyone with specific health questions or concerns should contact their family physician as well as IH Health Protection at 250-420-2220.

 

 

Just Posted

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

Trail police seek to ID more loot recovered during weapons search

Trail RCMP recovered numerous weapons and stolen items after search at Fifth Avenue residence

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Pacific Insight to close in April

The remaining employees at the Nelson automotive manufacturing facility to be laid off

RCMP bike patrol coming to Castlegar

The pair of bicycles will be from a local shop and cost over $6,000 each.

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan talks forest policy at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

Most Read