Gibsons halfway back to aquifer water

Infrastructure

John Gleeson / Staff Writer
July 10, 2014 10:34 AM

The Town of Gibsons said this week that their consultant and Vancouver Coastal Health are still determining whether the Parkland reservoir is the source of the E.coli contamination that forced the Town to issue a boil water advisory in June.

About half of Gibsons municipal water users are back on the system and the other half should be following suit by July 15, according to Town officials.

The Town announced July 4 that properties in zone one were back on municipal water after emergency chlorination was installed on the distribution system at well number one, at the corner of Gower Point and Winn roads.

As of Wednesday, the Town was still in the process of installing emergency chlorination at wells number two and three that supply the remainder of the service area in zone two.

That step is one of two components needed to bring zone two back on the municipal system, CAO Mani Machado said.

“The second part is refilling the now-inspected [Parkland] reservoir, testing it several times and completing a report, at which time Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) will make a determination on when we can use the reservoir,” he said.

The entire town was placed on Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) water about 10 days after a June 6 boil water advisory was issued due to the presence of E.coli in samples taken from the Parkland reservoir. With the switch to SCRD water, the boil water advisory was lifted.

Before allowing the Town to use its own water supply again, VCH said the Town had to install chlorination stations and hire a consultant to conduct a professional assessment of the Parkland reservoir.

VCH officials have said chlorination will continue until the source of the E.coli contamination is found, and Machado said the consultant and VCH drinking water officer would determine if the Parkland assessment provides that evidence.

“Our hope is to go back [to an unchlorinated system], but it’s really not our choice at all,” he said.

Town water is drawn from the Gibsons aquifer for zones one and two, while water in zone three is supplied by the SCRD. Town officials have stressed that no contamination had been detected in the aquifer, but only within the water distribution system.

The Town will remain on stage 3 water use restrictions — hand watering with a container only — until zone two is back on municipal water.


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