Meadow Lake lifts boil water advisory

by Sabine Gibbins

City officials say Meadow Lake’s water is safe to drink again.

The lengthy precautionary drinking water advisory was lifted May 7. It had been in place since March 5 because of elevated treated water turbidity found at the city’s water treatment plant and in its distribution system. But, as some community members say, adjusting to the advisory did not pose too significant of a challenge.

Resident Donna Selinger said it was something she simply learned to live with.

“We didn’t have any problems at all,” she said.

Jesse Shakotko, vice-principal at Carpenter High School, said the school adjusted well to the advisory, stating water fountains were covered, but the school had water dispensers on site. Bottled water was also handed out.

“It wasn’t really a problem, from my vantage point,” Shakotko said. “We put out jugs of water and students came down to drink from that. Kids don’t overly use the water fountains anyway, only after phys ed. class will they stop by and get a drink.”

Bill Miller, manager of the Ministry of Environment’s (MOE) environmental services north unit, said advisories such as the one issued in Meadow Lake are not entirely uncommon, although this one did last longer than anticipated.

“Certain adjustments have to be made to the water quality when turbidity levels increase,” he said. “There is a level of difficulty involved in this for proper fluctuation to occur. Once the process began to fix the unbalance, a better handle on the water situation was addressed. The next step the city is focusing on includes the cleaning of the reservoirs.”

Miller said the weather could have also been a factor in the water unbalance, adding the city’s future aeration process should help solve any future issues.

Mayor Gary Vidal said very few complaints were heard on the streets, considering how long the advisory was in effect.

“The MOE has certain standards, which we have to meet,” he explained. “A few of the restaurants and places in the city were limited to a degree, but they adapted well.”

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