A boil water notice issued April 11 for residents on the Sunnybrae water system has been rescinded.
The Columbia Shuswap Regional District announced Thursday, May 23 that recent water quality tests confirmed turbidity levels in the system’s drinking water supply have returned to acceptable levels.
“As required by Interior Health, the precautionary notice was issued to users of the system due to higher than normal concentration of particles in the water,” states a CSRD release. “This is known as turbidity, which makes the water appear murky. It can also cause interference with the water treatment plant’s disinfection process.
“Particles in the water can potentially shield bacteria from the ultraviolet (UV) and chlorination processes used to ensure the supply is safe for public consumption.”
After issuing the boil water notice, the CSRD confirmed Sunnybrae’s newly constructed water treatment facility (as of summer 2018) was functioning as it’s supposed to.
“I want to assure the community the new plant is working exactly as it is intended,” said CSRD Team Leader of Utilities, Terry Langlois. “The Sunnybrae plant is not a filtration plant and as such is subject to changes in Shuswap Lake water quality, especially spring freshet.”
The water system treats raw water with UV light and chlorine, but does not have a complex filtration system. According to the CSRD, adding a filtration system to the plant would cost between $2 and $3 million. The cost would be borne by taxpayers in Sunnybrae.
“It was felt that spending that kind of money to deal with a seasonal water quality event lasting a few weeks would have overburdened our taxpayers,” says Langlois.
Turbidity is measured in units known as NTU and when the turbidity of the water exceeds five NTU, a boil water notice must be issued. The Sunnybrae water treatment system monitors turbidity levels continuously, 24 hours a day. Testing of the Sunnybrae water system has confirmed turbidity levels have returned to levels below 5 NTU.
For any further information, please contact the CSRD operations management at 250-833-5950.