Today’s Poll

Water goes turbid as quality advisory drops for city residents

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
June 9th, 2011

Turbidity — and the risk of gastrointestinal illness — has risen in the water supply lines feeding Nelson homes, prompting a water quality advisory to be issued by the City and the IHA.

Heavy spring rains and a high snow melt have resulted in increased turbidity or cloudiness, recent testing has shown.

“Current water qualities in the Nelson water supply are fair due to spring run off,” stated a City of Nelson press release issued Thursday.

Interior Health Authority recommended children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems and anyone seeking additional protection to drink boiled water, or a safe alternative.

For these at-risk populations, water intended for drinking, washing fruits and vegetables, making beverages or ice, or brushing teeth should be boiled for one minute. Boiled water should then be refrigerated in a clean, covered container.

People could also choose to use bottled or distilled water, or water that has been filtered through a well-maintained treatment device.

The City claims they are “taking additional measures to reduce risk.” Interior Health has been fully involved, and the public will be notified when conditions change or water quality has improved.

The City is also requesting the help of Nelsonites in monitoring the creeks in Nelson. If you see a blocked culvert or anything overflowing, please call the non-emergency number at the Fire Hall (352-3103).


Turbidity – cloudiness or particles in water – is more than just an aesthetic concern.

As turbidity rises, so does the risk of gastrointestinal illness. While this might not be of great concern to most, the risk for the very young, the very old, and people with weakened immune systems can be higher.

In keeping with federal standards and provincial regulations, water suppliers regularly test and monitor drinking water to ensure customer safety.

If turbidity exceeds 1-NTU (nephelometric turbidity unit), a water supplier will issue a Water Quality Advisory through the local media and, where possible, on websites and at public facilities.

Children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems will be advised to drink boiled water or a safe alternative.

Turbidity greater than 5-NTU may trigger a Boil Water Notice, during which all customers will be advised to drink boiled water or a safe alternative.

The Provincial Health Officer recommends that newborns and people with weakened immune systems drink boiled water at all times if served by an unfiltered surface water source.


Categories: GeneralHealth

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