Union Bay residents are boiling water today that before August they were drinking from the tap. That’s when Island Health’s standard for turbidity in water from Langely Lake changed from 3 NTUs to 1 NTU.

Turbidity is the degree to which light is scattered by particles suspended in a liquid. And an NTU is a Nephelometric Turbidity Unit, a method of measuring turbidity uses a white light at 90 degrees to the detecting sensor.

The Union Bay Improvement District issued the boil water advisory on the weekend after heavy rainfalls and high winds stirred up the water in Langley Lake, the source of Union Bay’s drinking water. The UBID treats its water with chlorine, but turbidity can disrupt that process.

The UBID is currently designing a water treatment plant that will address the new turbidity standard and reduce water quality advisories. It is expected to issue a tender for construction next March.

Check the UBID website for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.: How do I boil tap water so that it is safe to consume?

Tap water should be boiled for one minute. Use any clean pot or kettle. Kettles that have automatic shut offs are acceptable. After boiling, let the water cool by leaving it on the counter or in the refrigerator in covered containers. After water is boiled it can be stored in food grade containers at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Q.: When will the notice be lifted?

The notice will be lifted once the health authorities, in conjunction with the Superintendent of Waterworks, have concluded that the potential risk has been mitigated.

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George Le Masurier

DecafNation