On July 6, the City of Fernie rescinded a water quality advisory after turbidity levels fell to an acceptable standard.
Testing found turbidity levels had fallen below one Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU) and in response the city’s water quality rating changed from ‘fair’ to ‘good.’
The water quality advisory was issued May 5 after turbidity levels increased to between one and five NTU, which exceed the one NTU standard recommended in the federal Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of the water.
The health risks were considered low but the City of Fernie and Interior Health recommended that children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems drink boiled or bottled water.
The City of Fernie and Interior Health recommend that you let water run from all your faucets for at least five minutes to flush the lines prior to resuming normal consumption.
According to a municipal statement, the city draws most of its drinking water from Fairy Creek. A concrete catchment separates the creek water from surface water before the water is chlorinated and then piped to residents for consumption.
However, in spring when the surface source is running high with snow melt or during rainfall events, there is some crossover between the two sources, which affects turbidity of drinking water.