Penticton issues water advisory

High water levels cause concern around South Okanagan

Creeks all over the Okanagan are rising, thanks to heavy rain and the spring freshet, causing the City of Penticton and the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen to issue boil water notices for certain areas. - Black Press photo

A water main washout has prompted the City of Penticton to add their own boil water advisory to the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen boil order for Sage Mesa, and the evacuation notice issued last night of a neighbourhood near Chute Creek.

More: Flood waters continue to rise

As a public health precaution, the city issued a water quality advisory for residents in the east area of Penticton that require additional precautions to boil their drinking water for at least one minute before drinking.

At about midnight last night, the water main carrying water to this area was washed out where it crosses under Ellis Creek, which is experiencing high rain and snowmelt flows at present.

Peter Weeber, Penticton’s chief administrative officer, said the advisory is a precautionary measure. Given the high pressure in the water pipe, Weeber said it is unlikely any contaminants could have backflow into the pipe.

The pipe runs below Ellis Creek in the area of the break, which occurred around 7 a.m. this morning.

“It’s a tricky situation,” said Weeber, explaining that it may take until Tuesday before the water main is repaired. In the meantime, the water supply has been rerouted around the break and residents shouldn’t experience any interruptions in service.

The precautionary boil water advisory applies to the municipal water supply for the Naramata Road, Valleyview Road, Uplands, Lower Columbia and Wiltse areas managed by the city. The boundaries of the area affected include:

– All of the Naramata Road area

– All of the Valleyview Road area

– The area East (uphill) of Government Street and West (below) Columbia Street and Evergreen Drive.

More detail is available at www.penticton.ca.

Crews are working to rectify the situation. Further sampling and testing is currently being conducted in the system.

What is a water quality advisory?

A water quality advisory is the lowest level notification. A water quality advisory is used in situations where the general public health threat is modest. Additional precautions can be taken by individuals wishing to reduce the risks if the customer feels they are necessary.Who may need extra precautions:

– People with weakened immune systems

– People over 65 years

– Children under 2 years

– People with chronic illnesses

– People wishing additional protection

Precautionary instructions

Residents are advised to bring their water to a rapid, rolling boil for at least one minute prior to using it for domestic purposes, including drinking, making infant formula and juices, cooking, brushing teeth, washing raw foods and making ice. Alternatively, residents may use bottled water.

Duration

The water quality advisory will be in effect until the City of Penticton and Interior Health deems the water safe to drink.

Updates

Up-to-date information is available at www.penticton.ca. Residents who do not have computer access should listen to local radio stations for updates.