A Boil Water notice has been issued for the Village of Ashcroft as of Friday, May 5. This is due to extremely high turbidity levels in the Thompson River, a result of rapidly melting snow in the area following Thursday’s high temperatures.
A resident who lives near the Bonaparte River near its confluence with the Thompson says that the water level of the Bonaparte rose at least a foot within 24 hours.
All local businesses and stakeholders, including the hospital, the school, and the campground were informed; a mail drop was sent to all residents; and media outlets in Ashcroft and Kamloops were given the information.
The Boil Water Notice, which indicates that the current water quality is rated Poor, will be in effect throughout the weekend. The situation will be reassessed on Monday, May 8.
The Village took the step in conjunction with Interior Health as a precautionary measure for customers on the Village of Ashcroft water supply system. Testing at one of the water stations on Friday morning showed a sharp increase in turbidity, or cloudiness, of the water. The risk increases as turbidity levels rise, particularly for at-risk populations such as newborns, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.
The notice means that all customers should be careful when ingesting the water. Owners of all public facilities must post Boil Water Notices at all sinks or drinking water fountains available to the public, or turn them off so they cannot be used.
As a precaution in times of Poor water conditions, all water intended for any of the following uses should be boiled for one minute: drinking; washing fruits and vegetables; making beverages or ice; and brushing teeth. Washing dishes in the water, taking showers or baths in it, or washing clothes in it does not pose a health risk.
Interior Health has been consulted, and the public will be notified when conditions change. For more information check the Village of Ashcroft’s website at www.ashcroftbc.ca, call the Village Office at (250) 453-9161, or call the Interior Health Drinking Water Officer at (250) 851-7322.