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Boil water advisory issued at Lake Cowichan

Lake Cowichan residents were back to boiling their drinking water May 6. The municipality officially notified the community by way of its Facebook page that "Island Health has directed the Town of Lake Cowichan to issue a boil water notice effective immediately. This advisory will be effective until further notice. The turbidity level is at 1.89 NTU this morning."

Residents were advised to boil their water before consumption, until that advisory is lifted.

"The Town of Lake Cowichan's source water is an unprotected body of water and at this time there is not a watershed protection plan," the notice stated. "At this time, we cannot be sure that harmful pathogens are not present at levels that exceed the capacity of the chlorination to properly treat the water."

Island Health requires the town to advertise the boil notice when turbidity levels exceed one NTU at the point of disinfection.

Later in the day, Lake Cowichan posted an update.

"The Town regrets having to notify the public of another boil water advisory. We feel the same frustration but unfortunately the advisory is caused by circumstances that are out of our control.

"Our water treatment and distribution system is no less efficient now than it has been in the past. Yes the standards for turbidity have changed and we respect Island Health's response to our turbidity level.

"We recognize the need for secondary treatment and that is why we have applied for funding for a sand filtration system. For those who have responded by saying fix it now; we would love to, but not at a cost approaching $7 million to our taxpayers. Hopefully our turbidity level decreases quickly and we can begin normal usage again."

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