A large amount of debris in Okanagan Lake as a result of storm, high water levels and runoff has prompted the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen to issue water quality advisory for Naramata and a boil water notice for the Sage Mesa region. Submitted photo

Water quality notices issued

Water notices have issued for Naramata and the Sage Mesa region by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

The recent rain, storms and extreme runoff conditions have resulted in an above-normal turbidity levels in Okanagan Lake and resulted in the advisories and notices as the levels rising above Health Authority thresholds.

For the Sage Mesa water system there is a boil water notice and in Naramata a water quality advisory.

Sage Mesa residents, including Sandstone, Westwood and Husula, are advised to use a safe, alternate source of water or boil water for all drinking, oral hygiene and food preparation/cooking purposes.

Water should be brought to a boil and allowed to boil for one minute to reduce the risk of infection from potentially three pathogens (micro-organisms) that may be in it.

Because there is only one level of treatment in that water, the addition of chlorine, under the current conditions, organisms can remain viable in the water.

One of the three organisms cannot be inactivated by chlorine and needs to be removed by filtration or additional treatment such as ultraviolet light, neither of which is currently in place.

The RDOS advises it is the responsibility of business owners including bed and breakfast operators to notify customers of the boil water restrictions.

In Naramata the advisory is one level below a boil notice and is used in situations where the general public health threat is modest.

Those who may need additional protection includes people with weakened immune systems, infants and children, the elderly, those with chronic illnesses and anyone else who wishes additional protection.

Those people wanting additional protection are advised to use a safe, alternative water source or to boil water.

Once water system levels return to acceptable limits the public will be advised.

For more information call the RDOS office at 250-490-4106 1-877-610-3737.