After two-and-a-half months, residents in Meadow Lake will soon able to consume their water without having to boil it first.
On May 11, a precautionary drinking water advisory was put in place by the City of Meadow Lake due to a high level of turbidity, or lack of clarity, in the water. Late this morning, the city staff said they were in the process of completing the cleaning and testing required to lift the advisory, and expect it to be removed on July 27. The clear wells have been cleaned, and line flushing occurred over the weekend. The city’s two water reservoirs started being drained and cleaned today, which should be finished by early next week.
City Manager Diana Burton said the city has known for a couple weeks that the water quality is improved, however, the proper testing steps, including water samples, must be taken to ensure the water is completely safe for public consumption. She said once the city clean results from those tests, the advisory can be cancelled. She said she appreciates residents’ patience throughout the process.
“I want people to understand we do take this seriously,” Burton said. “We do understand the frustration of residents, especially something that’s so prolonged, and we apologize. I also want to vocally commend the waterworks and public works staff who have worked around the clock to deal with the advisory and to also get it lifted.”
She said the water advisory has cost the city a significant amount of money, in overtime hours for waterworks and public works staff, in lab fees, in the additional chemicals to treat the water coming from Meadow River, and doubling the amount of one-way flushing this year. Burton said a final tally on the cost will likely be known by the end of August.
“Those are just some of the ideas of places where we’ve spent more,” Burton said. “Once it’s all said and done, we will do an accounting of all this. What we try to do in situations like these is to do the best we can to get the problem rectified, and then sit down afterwards and see if there’s anything we could have done differently.”
The city also asks residents to attempt to conserve water this weeks, due to the limited capacity of the reservoirs as they get cleaned.
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