Water quality advisory issued for Willowbrook

by Oliver Chronicle, originally posted on December 8, 2016


The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) and the Interior Health Authority (IHA) is issuing a water quality advisory for the Willowbrook water system until further notice. This advisory is in response to recent bacteriological samples that have tested positive for low counts of total coliforms. All tested samples have been negative for E. coli.

The historical bacteriological data on record with Interior Health prior to the RDOS operating the system is limited, however, it does indicate that there have been previous events where total coliforms have been detected. Upon obtaining ownership of the water system, the RDOS increased the sampling frequency to meet IHA’s current expectations. The RDOS will also be looking to install dedicated sampling locations throughout the system to further enhance the reliability of the monitoring program.

The associated health risks have been assessed to be minimal at this time resulting in the advisory being issued and should not be confused with a boil water notice.

An advisory allows the RDOS to update all residents on the current status of a water system. An advisory for bacteriological quality typically targets children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and anyone seeking additional protection. The Interior Heath Authority recommends for those in these groups to use a safe alternate source of water, or to boil water for all drinking, oral hygiene and food preparation/cooking purposes. Water should be brought to full boil and allowed to boil for at least one minute.

The RDOS would also like to remind all business owners/operators (bed and breakfasts) and public facilities operators that it is the responsibility of said establishments to notify their customers of the advisory.

The RDOS will be working with the IHA on developing a plan to try to determine the source of these total coliform counts within the water system.

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