The Corporation of the Village of Alert Bay (the Village) operates the water supply system that provides drinking water to Village residents, businesses, and visitors. Water quality in the system is monitored for bacteriological quality on a monthly basis by way of water samples obtained throughout the community, and results are reviewed by the Village and Island Health.

For decades, water quality has been acceptable; however, in June 2016 total coliform bacteria were detected in low numbers. The Village took action to correct this situation; however, samples continued to show the presence of these bacteria. In response, Island Health directed the Village to perform a disinfection of the water supply with chlorine, ensuring that the chlorine levels remained below the maximum threshold allowable for human consumption. Two subsequent rounds of monitoring indicated that the treatment was successful. Unfortunately, total coliforms have since been detected in unacceptable amounts and another disinfection is necessary. This recurrence of total coliform bacteria is not unusual as it can sometime take two or three disinfections to entirely clear them from a water supply system.

While the water is currently safe to drink, total coliforms should not be present in drinking water and need to be removed in order to prevent other bacteria from entering the water supply system that may cause a risk to human health.  As such, Island Health has directed the Village to perform another disinfection of the water system using chlorine at a low concentration that is safe to consume.

The Village will chlorinate the water supply on Friday August 26th, 2016. Water system users may notice the smell or taste of chlorine – this is normal, and the water is safe to consume. To assist in this process, the Village asks that residents draw water through their households during this time to help the chlorine come into contact with all parts of the distribution system. Turbidity (hazy water) may occur and is normal during this process.

We provide the following cautions:

• Chlorine kills fish. Residents with aquariums and fish ponds should not use chlorinated water to replenish tanks or    ponds.
• Chlorine destroys reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. Users of RO membranes should not introduce chlorinated    water to RO systems.
• Chlorine renders hemodialysis ineffective. Kidney dialysis patients should not use chlorinated water in dialysis     machines.

Thank you,

The Corporation of the Village of Alert Bay

Phone:  250-974-5213
Address: 15 Maple Road
                  Alert Bay, BC
                   V0N 1A0

The Village’s water sample history is available here: http://goo.gl/bvhyff