Union Bay boils water, new turbidity standards
Union Bay residents are boiling water today that before August they were drinking from the tap. That’s when Island Health’s standard for turbidity in water from Langely Lake changed from 3 NTUs to 1 NTU.
Turbidity is the degree to which light is scattered by particles suspended in a liquid. And an NTU is a Nephelometric Turbidity Unit, a method of measuring turbidity uses a white light at 90 degrees to the detecting sensor.
The Union Bay Improvement District issued the boil water advisory on the weekend after heavy rainfalls and high winds stirred up the water in Langley Lake, the source of Union Bay’s drinking water. The UBID treats its water with chlorine, but turbidity can disrupt that process.
The UBID is currently designing a water treatment plant that will address the new turbidity standard and reduce water quality advisories. It is expected to issue a tender for construction next March.
Check the UBID website for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q.: How do I boil tap water so that it is safe to consume?
Tap water should be boiled for one minute. Use any clean pot or kettle. Kettles that have automatic shut offs are acceptable. After boiling, let the water cool by leaving it on the counter or in the refrigerator in covered containers. After water is boiled it can be stored in food grade containers at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Q.: When will the notice be lifted?
The notice will be lifted once the health authorities, in conjunction with the Superintendent of Waterworks, have concluded that the potential risk has been mitigated.
Q.: What are the health risks during a boil water notice?
The health risks associated with ingesting water that has not been boiled are hard to estimate. The Notice was issued because conditions exist that make it impossible to ensure the safety of the water without boiling it first. The risk could be low if no actual contamination occurred or very high if pathogens are present. However, you can be confident that boiling your tap water for one minute is sufficient to destroy any pathogens that are present in the water.
It is important to note that Boil Water Notices are specific to microbiological threats. They are not appropriate to address threats from chemical contamination. Boiling chemically contaminated water will only result in the chemical becoming more concentrated or release the chemical into the air where it could be inhaled. In such cases a different kind of Notice would be used.
Q.: What should I do once the notice has been lifted?
· Run cold-water faucets and drinking fountains for one minute before using the water
· Drain and flush all ice-making machines in your refrigerator
· Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle
· Drain and refill hot water tanks set below 45 C (normal setting is 60 C)
· Change any pre-treatment filters (under sink style and refrigerator water filters, carbon block, activated carbon, sediment filters, etc.)
Racecar testing will continue at Smit Field next to Nymph Falls Nature Park, at least for another season, after Comox Valley rural directors voted 2-1 in favour of a scaled-down temporary use permit
As the Vancouver Island Health Authority reduces health care services to north islanders and deflects accountability, the public looks to the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board for advocacy
The Comox Valley will march at 1 pm today for changes to slow down climate change. But are we really just giving lip service when bolder actions are needed to save the planet?
Has the BC Attorney General’s office may have changed its view of the Town of Comox’s desire to alter the Mack Laing Trust? How else to explain the last eight months of dead silence?
At a meeting with nearly 100 Comox Valley climate activists, Will Cole-Hamilton discussed global progress in solar and wind technologies, how the City of Courtenay has addressed climate change and why climate marches are so important
North Island MLA Claire Trevena presented a petition signed by over 2,500 people to the BC Legislature Nov. 20 that calls for the return of onsite clinical pathologists’ services to the Campbell River Hospital and to investigate possible conflicts of interest within Island Health
The Comox Valley will join millions of people worldwide to talk about the reality of the climate crisis, what it means and what you can do. The local event will take place from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the Comox United Church Hall
Supporters of Save Our Forests Team – Comox Valley (SOFT-CV) rallied outside Claire Trevena’s office in Campbell River to protest the provincial government’s continued logging of the last stands of productive old-growth on Vancouver Island
Should the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District advocate for health care services on behalf of its constituents? Or is the district’s role limited to funding 40 percent of selected capital projects?
Cumberland Councillor Jesse Ketler will be the first woman to chair the Comox Valley Regional District board, and she defeated two male opponents to win the position