The City of Kimberley has issued a Water Quality Advisory for all users in Kimberley in accordance with the Interior Health’s Water Quality Notification Program.
According to a notice from the City, recent testing shows that current water quality is rated as ‘fair’ due to increased turbidity (cloudiness) in the water.
The City and Interior Health are recommending 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.
Residents can also choose to use bottled or distilled water, or water that has been filtered through a well-maintained treatment device.
At this time of year, Kimberley’s drinking water tends to increase in turbidity as the freshet picks up.
“During the freshet, or spring run off, the water entering the City’s distribution system may become cloudy or turbid. Due to recent warm weather, turbidity is starting to rise,” says the notice. “Turbidity is a measurement of water clarity and can be an indicator of 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, especially for at-risk populations such as new-borns, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
Bacteria, viruses and parasites can attach themselves to 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, says the notice.
The City will be updating the public regularly when conditions change or water quality has improved. For more information visit the City’s website at kimberley.ca or contact the City at 250-427-9660.