The standards may have changed, but the water remains pretty much the same. Or so said Sicamous’ staff in council, in response to a question why the district has been seeing so many water quality advisories as of late.
“They’re not boil water advisories, they’re water-quality advisories, and they’re due to the turbidity with run-off and that type of thing,” said district works services manager Grady MacDonald. It’s something we have to do; it’s an Interior Health requirement. Until we get a filtration system in Sicamous, we will continue to do that.”
MacDonald says the advisory is intended to give people who are at increased risk – the elderly and people with weakened immune systems – a heads up, and advise them to take precaution of boiling water before consuming, or using bottled water. MacDonald noted that he drinks the water daily and has been for the past 30 years.
“I think the water advisories are on and a lot of it has to do with the standards of the Ministry of Health. It’s not necessarily that our water has changed over the years, it’s just that the standards have changed,” said Mayor Darrell Trouton, noting that 15 years ago Sicamous was known for having the cleanest water in British Columbia.
Coun. Greg Kyllo explained the advisory goes in to effect when turbidity levels reach a point where it can’t be guaranteed the municipality’s chlorine contact chamber will be able to treat all the particular matter passing through.
“That doesn’t mean there’s a problem,” he said.
Coun. Don Richardson’s solution to the matter was simple: “drink whiskey.”
Trouton said the district is budgeting for a filtration system that will help address turbidity levels.