A boil water notice has been issued for Mabel Lake in the North Okanagan.
On Tuesday morning, the Regional District of the North Okanagan issued the notice due to spring runoff and lake level changes, which has led to increased turbidity, or cloudiness, levels.
According to Interior Health, turbidity occurs when fine suspended particles of clay, silt, organic and inorganic matter, plankton, and other microscopic organisms are picked up by water as it passes through a watershed.
Turbidity is measured in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU), with numbers ranging from less than 1 NTU to more than 1,000 NTU.
Interior Health says at 5 NTU, water is visibly cloudy, while at 25 NTU it is murky.
In announcing Tuesday’s boil water notice, the regional district said the turbidity at the Mabel Lake water intake has exceeded 5.0 NTU, which is rated as poor.
The regional district also said because of the poor rating, water intended for the below uses should be boiled for one minute:
- Preparing any foods
- Washing fruits and vegetables
- Making beverages or ice
- Brushing teeth
- Preparing infant formula
The regional district added that the boil water notice will be in effect until further notice, and that residents will be informed when the water quality returns to normal.