It’s that time of year again. As the freshet picks up, turbidity (cloudiness) increases in Kimberley’s water supply and the City has issued a Water Quality Advisory as of May 19 2020.
Anything over 1.0 and up to 5.0 NTU is considered a Fair rating and triggers an Advisory. A reading of greater than 5 is considered Poor. The latest reading for Mark Creek is 1.046 NTU. The Matthew Creek water supply was taken off line on March 31, 2020 and the entire town is currently being fed by Mark Creek.
During the “freshet” or spring run-off, the water entering the City of Kimberley’s distribution system may become cloudy or turbid. At this time, turbidity is starting to rise. Turbidity is a measurement of water clarity and can be an indicator of a potential health risk. Water quality is considered to be good when turbidity levels are less than 1 NTU, fair when between 1 to 5 NTU and poor when greater than 5 NTU.
Health risks increase as turbidity rises, particularly for at-risk populations such as newborns, 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. Current turbidity levels exceed the 1 NTU standard recommended in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.
The City and Interior Health recommend that children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems and anyone seeking additional protection drink boiled water or a safe alternative. For these at-risk populations, water intended for drinking, washing fruits and vegetables, making juice or ice, or brushing teeth should be boiled for one minute. Boiled water should then be refrigerated in a clean, covered container. Customers could also choose to use bottled or distilled water, or water that has been filtered through a well-maintained treatment device.
Owners of public facilities must post Water Quality Advisories at all sinks or drinking water fountains accessible to the public (alternatively, public fountains and taps may be turned off). As opportunities arise, they must also advise their clientele verbally of the Water Quality Advisory. The City of Kimberley is taking additional measures to reduce risk. Interior Health has been fully involved and the public will be notified when conditions change or water quality has improved. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and appreciate your cooperation and patience during this time. If you have any questions please contact the City of Kimberley at 250-427-9660 or check the City’s website at www.kimberley.ca