Concerns prompt boil water advisory

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY – The City of Prince Edward County continues to grapple with a water crisis after a partially submerged barge spilled contaminants into Picton Bay earlier this week.
Thursday, after discovering a foul odor in the Picton raw water sampling line (an early warning system) the County took the additional step of stopping water production at the Picton water drinking plant.
County officials said during a press conference Thursday they will begin shuttling treated water from other potable water sources starting immediately; as a result, a precautionary boil water advisory for all customers connected to the Picton/Bloomfield drinking water system has been implemented by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.
The water drinking plant was shut down Tuesday afternoon as a precaution after an oily sheen entered the Picton Intake Protection Zone 1, an area some 700 metres from the water intake pipe to the drinking water system.
They are receiving wide spread support from neighbouring communities and have assurances from the Bay of Quinte Mohawks water treatment plant and the City of Belleville that water will be provided if needed.
“Our local haulers have stepped up in a big way to assist us, and we have received a wide spread offer of support from neighbouring municipalities,” said County commissioner Robert McAuley.
The Eastern Canada Response Corporation (ECRC) was handling the cleanup of the spill, believed to be less than 30 litres of diesel fuel and hydraulic fluid that was contained in jerry cans on the deck of the barge when it sunk last Friday afternoon near the Picton Terminals.
Authorities say the barge contains about 1,200 litres of diesel fuel and 100 litres of hydraulic fluid, and the coast guard says the risk of further contamination is extremely low.
No contaminants are known to have entered the water system.
The boil water advisory will remain in place until such time it is lifted by the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.

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