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Boil water advisory ended for Prince Rupert — but it may have been all for nothing

The City of Prince Rupert is evaluating its response in the aftermath of a boil water advisory that may have been unnecessary.
The City of Prince Rupert is evaluating its response in the aftermath of a boil water advisory that may have been unnecessary. File Photo / Getty Images

It’s been three months, and residents in Prince Rupert no longer have to boil their water.

A boil water advisory began in December when tests showed too much Cryptosporidium in the water, but Northern Health says the results were likely a false positive.

It took the city and Northern Health having to send samples to a different lab in Alberta to notice there were no problems.

But for Amarjit Sandhu, an employee at Prince Rupert’s Rodhos Pizza, it doesn’t matter if the results were false — boiling water has been a pain to business.

READ MORE: After six weeks, boil water notice lifted for Prince Rupert

“We need water for rice, we need water for salad, we need it for this and that. It takes a very long (time); we had a very hard time,” Sandhu said.

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In a statement on Prince Rupert’s city website, Mayor Lee Brain says he stands by the city’s decision to put a boil water notice in effect, saying: “[It] was the best action to take from a public health perspective based on our understanding at the time.”

Brain went on to call the situation a learning experience.

“This incident has helped both us at the city and Northern Health better understand potential risk from protozoa and has improved our standard for testing and monitoring water quality going ahead,” the mayor added.

READ MORE: No end in sight to Prince Rupert boil water advisory

The tap water is now safe to drink, but that hasn’t changed Sandhu’s opinion.

“No, I don’t trust the city water,” Sandhu said.

In January, the city reduced the boil water notice to a water quality advisory.

The city has released an after-incident report to detail its findings.

City officials also say that moving forward, they are awaiting notification about a grant application to complete a water treatment project.

If successful in their application, officials say they will be developing a value engineering program to ensure that water treatment is implemented as efficiently and safely as possible.

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