The Capital Regional District (CRD) has issued a boil water advisory for the Highland part of the Highland-Fernwood water service on Salt Spring Island.
Everyone in that area is asked to boil their household tap water vigorously for one minute before using it for drinking, preparing food, preparing other beverages, ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables or brushing teeth. Bottled water can be used as an alternative.
Residents can fill a pot with tap water (or an electric kettle without an automatic shut-off) and bring it to a rolling boil for one minute. The CRD said will kill all disease-causing organisms. The water can then be cooled and refrigerated in a clean container in the fridge until needed. All ice cube trays should be disinfected before making new ice with the boiled water.
The CRD said those who have a water treatment device that only improves the taste or odour or chemical quality of the water, such as activated carbon filters, still need to boil water. Devices that disinfect water, like a UV light unit, can be an alternative to boiling the water.
As for dishes, dishwasher with a hot setting will disinfect the dishes. For dishwashers without a hot setting, the CRD said dishes can be soaked for one minute in a solution of
1oz (30 ml) of bleach mixed with 3 gallons of lukewarm water (13.5 litres) after the cycle finishes. Dishes should then be air dried.
Residents washing dishes by hand can use boiled water for washing or rinse the dishes with boiled water after washing the dishes with soap and hot water.
Adults, teens and older children can still wash, bathe or shower but should avoid swallowing the water. The CRD said toddlers and infants should be sponge bathed. Laundry can be done as normal.
According to the CRD, water quality samples analyzed on Jan. 23 indicate the potential for bacteria in the system.
The boil water advisory will be in effect until flushing and new samples indicate the water quality no longer poses a risk to public health. Island Health will issue a notice as soon as the advisory