IHA says Slocan residents should be wary of water
Despite the Interior Health Authority’s all-clear for water use in the Slocan Valley, they are urging residents to use discretion in deciding what is, and is not, safe and to avoid any water with visible or detectable deposits of jet fuel.
Dr. Andrew Larder, senior medical health officer with IHA, said lifting the Do Not Use order was because he’s satisfied the majority of area water use is now fine… but it does not necessarily mean all water in the area is safe.
“I lifted (the order) knowing full well there was still fuel on the creek,” he said, adding testing and sampling shows the majority of the water is clean. “I was satisfied that the amounts (of fuel) were relatively small and localized in eddies and logjams, and that the clean-up process would not release the material into the main water system.”
He said lifting the order was absolutely not a signal to residents to stop being careful.
“All along we’ve said if their water supply is contaminated, they’re to contact IHA and get direction as to what to do next,” he said.
He also said lifting the order was also not a signal that an alternate potable water supply is no longer necessary.
“Whether or not the resiliency centre and potable water remain available is under the purview of Executive Flight Centre, and my understanding is they’ve said that’s dependent on demand,” he said.
He said if someone has a shallow or vulnerable well that smells of fuel, they should contact IHA for testing. If it is contaminated, it will then become part of Quantam Murray’s larger clean-up effort.
When asked if IHA is addressing the mental health concerns associated with a major catastrophe, he said they’ve certainly raised the issue, and promised to look into what, if any action, has been taken in this regard.
Check back with The Source for more updates and information as the situation evolves.