Alert Bay under boil-water advisory

Alert Bay remains under a boil-water advisory after lab tests revealed unacceptable levels of coliform bacteria in the village’s water system.

About 450 residents are affected by the advisory, which took effect Oct. 21. Island Health is recommending that all water be boiled for one minute before drinking.

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The advisory applies only to the village and not to the ’Namgis First Nation, which has a separate water system.

Lyle McNish, chief administrative officer, said the village is flushing its water system with a chlorine-based disinfectant and will do further testing early next week.

“Once we have two clear tests, we would send those results to [Island Health]; they would in turn advise us to rescind the order.”

McNish said the problem was discovered during regular testing. The cause of the problem is unclear, but could stem in part from recent heavy rainfall and aging infrastructure.

“The combination of those two things probably played a factor in it,” he said. “Right at this point in time, we haven’t pinpointed [the cause], but we have been looking at it.”

The village’s last boil-water advisory was in the summer of 2018, he said.

— Times Colonist

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