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Boil water advisory lifted in more areas in Wood Buffalo

A file photo of someone washing their hands.
A file photo of someone washing their hands. AP Photo/Marco Garcia

More boil water advisories have been lifted in Wood Buffalo after spring flooding and high river levels in the area led to water flowing the wrong way down an overflow pipe, mixing river and drinking water.

In a news release issued Tuesday, an official with the municipality said the community has “made extraordinary progress” on the issue.

On Tuesday, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo said that Alberta Health Services has now lifted boil water advisories for Gregoire, MacKenzie industrial park, Prairie Creek, Saline Creek Plateau/Henning Ridge, airport lands and Saprae Creek/Spruce Valley Estates.

“All areas except Timberlea and Taiga Nova now have potable water,” Matthew Hough, the deputy chief administrative officer for the RMWB said in a news release. “Repairs of the Timberlea reservoir are progressing well.

“If all goes according to plan, we expect to start flushing this weekend.”

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READ MORE: Fort McMurray boil water advisory lifted in parts of city months ahead of schedule

Residents and business owners in the areas where advisories have just been lifted are asked to flush all taps for five minutes and to ensure equipment with water-line connections like refrigerator ice and water dispensers are drained, flushed, cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturers’ recommendations. They are also asked to run water softeners through a regeneration cycle according to manufacturers’ recommendations, drain and refill hot water heaters that have been set below 45 C and to flush, drain, clean and disinfect cisterns.

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Within the next two weeks, officials said people in Timberlea — including Eagle Ridge and Stone Creek — and in the Taiga Nova Eco-Industrial Park can expect to see crews flushing hydrants in their neighbourhoods.

People in those are asked not to move dechlorination pucks at flushing points if they see them.

“High chlorine levels will increase the odour of chlorine in the water; the level of chlorine is below the limit established by the guidelines for Canadian drinking water quality,” officials with the RMWB said. “Chlorine levels will subside as flushing concludes.

“Discolouration may occur and is normal.”

READ MORE: Boil water advisory lifted for 2 Wood Buffalo hamlets but remains in place for Fort McMurray

The RMWB added that it continues to work with AHS and Alberta Environment and Parks “to lift the boil water advisory in the remaining areas as soon as possible.”

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–With files from Global News’ Allison Bench

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