While staff members from waterworks department for the City of Meadow Lake have been working around the clock testing the water quality, it could be a while before the precautionary drinking water advisory is called off.
The advisory was put into place for the city and Flying Dust First Nation on Friday, May 11 under advisement from the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency. The water coming from Meadow River has a high level of turbidity, which is the lack of clarity or brilliance in water. While it has no direct health affect, it can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth, according to Sask. H2O.
City Manager Diana Burton said staff members are doing everything possible to resolve the issue as fast as possible, but the PWDA will be in place indefinitely.
“We don’t have an estimate for when it will be removed,” Burton said. “Once we get some satisfactory tested water, it will take a few weeks before we can remove the advisory, because the waterworks department will have to submit some treated water samples that will have to meet our regulatory requirements and then some.”
She said generally, it should clear up a little later in the season, adding it is not uncommon for the quality to go down at this time of year. However, it typically doesn’t deteriorate to the point it has this year, and not for this extended period of time.
“The waterworks department has been advised to exhaust all options to get the issue fixed,” Burton said. “But, I’ve been advised what we’re dealing with is the need for the water quality in the river to improve."
City administration said they are researching options for potable water for residents, but it may take a week or more to get this set up.
For the time being, residents are advised to boil all drinking water for at least one minute prior to use or use an alternate water source known to be safe.
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