Thursday, March 1, 2013

City Hall News

No E. coli in Chilliwack Water

City flushes water mains, tests come back negative

Staff/Voice photos


esampling has now been completed in response to yesterday's positive E.coli test result from one Chilliwack location. City officials can confirm that the results have come back clear, with zero E.coli detected.

"Today's clear test results do not mean the prior test was incorrect," says Glen MacPherson, Chilliwack Director of Public Works. "At this time we don't know what caused the original test result to be positive, but we will continue investigating to determine a cause."

Upon the Fraser Health Authority notification of the positive E.coli result, City crews immediately followed procedures and retested the water, activated the City's standby chlorination system, flushed the water lines in the affected area, and informed residents in Greendale to flush the chlorinated water through their lines.


As a precautionary measure, Greendale residents were advised to boil their drinking water. Chlorinated water reached Greendale within a few hours. Greendale is on the valley floor, and our distribution system is interconnected, therefore the entire drinking water system had to be chlorinated.

"The City has been very fortunate through the years to avoid an E.coli incident of this nature in our main distribution system," says Mayor Sharon Gaetz. "We are reassured by the test results today, but we certainly look forward to finding out the results of the investigation. This is the first time we have had to activate standby chlorination, but our staff was well prepared and responded immediately. We will work cooperatively with the Fraser Health Authority and ensure our drinking water is safe."

The Boil Water Advisory for Greendale will be cancelled by the end of Thursday, February 28. The water in Chilliwack remains safe to drink. The chlorine in the system will be stronger at first, but will settle down to a reasonable level. The Fraser Heath Authority has advised the City to undertake an investigation, and to leave the standby chlorination system in operation until further notice.

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