Greater Vernon Water issues ‘precautionary’ water quality advisory

Tap water pouring into glass. Global News / File Photo

Thousands of Greater Vernon Water customers are being advised to “exercise caution” when drinking their tap water.

The utility says the “precautionary” water quality advisory comes after some water at the utility’s Duteau Water Treatment Plant missed UV treatment.

It will stay in place as officials wait for test results to confirm the safety of the water.

The issue started when an air valve failed on a water main in Lavington on Sunday afternoon.

To fix that issue, the utility had to turn off water to hundreds of customers in the area.

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The result of the “emergency repair” was “extremely low flows at the Duteau Water Treatment Plant” which “resulted in some water in the system not receiving UV treatment,” Greater Vernon Water said.

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All the water was still treated in other ways including with chlorine.

Only Greater Vernon Water customers who get their water from the Duteau water supply are impacted by advisory, mainly properties in the BX, Swan Lake, and Coldstream areas.

Mao of properties impacted by water quality advisory. impacted properties are shaded pink. Regional District of North Okanagan

The utility also gets a substantial portion of its potable water from Kalamalka Lake which is treated at a separate facility not impacted by the water quality advisory.

“Most Duteau customers were temporarily switched to the Kalamalka supply and will be returned to Duteau supply later [Monday] and are therefore impacted by the precautionary water quality advisory,” the utility said in a statement.
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“Greater Vernon Water expects that the precautionary water quality advisory will be rescinded by the end of the week if all samples results are good. When Duteau service is restored, you may experience some turbidity, which is normal. Please run your bathtub and other taps and appliances on cold water until the water runs clear.”

During the water quality advisory, officials are telling customers to “exercise caution when using water for consumption purposes.”

“All customers, especially young children, elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems, may choose to boil their water for at least one minute,” the utility said.

The regional district’s manager of water distribution stressed the notice is precautionary and said he personally wouldn’t be changing his water use habits during the advisory.

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