Anmore boil water advisory angers residents

The residents of Anmore have been unable to drink their tap water for more than four weeks, and many are blaming the village council for not acting quickly enough to take care of the problem.

Residents forced to boil water for more than four weeks

The residents of Anmore have been unable to drink their tap water for more than four weeks, and many are blaming the village council for not acting quickly enough to take care of the problem.

A boil water advisory issued by Fraser Health on Sept. 10 has them boiling water for drinking, cooking, and almost any other water-related activity. 

High coliform levels in the water have been a concern for seven years, but never to this extent. 

Anmore resident Kathy Roberts says she's worried about her family's safety. 

"I'm living with a senior who has a compromised immune system, I'm concerned about the health of my children," she said. 

"We should not be living in that type of environment...we're from Metro Vancouver, we should be having safe drinking water."

Roberts isn't the only concerned resident. Lynn Burton is also perplexed by the situation that has gone on for nearly a month now. 

"It's really ridiculous, here we are in Metro Vancouver and there are beautiful houses up here and yet we're living under Third World conditions," she said.

"What's wrong with this picture? There's something seriously wrong with this picture."

Chlorination booster station delayed

Though Fraser Health has not received reports of illnesses directly linked to the water conditions, many Anmore residents have reported feeling sick because of the water. Those illnesses have been raised, and dismissed, at Village Council meetings. 

Anmore Mayor Heather Anderson, says the high coliform levels are due to a warm summer and diminished chlorination from Port Moody, where the village sources its water. 

But the problem isn't so simple. Anmore was issued a grant by the provincial government back in 2005 that was earmarked for a new chlorination booster station to disinfect the water.

The grant would have covered 2/3's of the station's $67,000 price tag. But that money was never used.

I'm concerned about the health of my children.- Anmore resident Kathy Roberts

Mayor Anderson, who was a councillor at that time, says she and council were waiting to see where Port Moody would put its new booster station. 

"What we didn't want to do was put a chlorination booster station in a location that would then cause so much chlorine to be in the water that we wouldn't be able to use that station and that would've been a waste of taxpayer dollars," she said. 

According to the City of Port Moody, it last installed a new chlorination booster station back in 2008 and has no plans for any new stations.

That means Anmore council has been indecisive on its water situation for more than five years.

Residents blame village council

That indecision frustrates resident Kathy Roberts to no end.

"The village has been aware of the problem since at least 2005...they've known about the problem since then...they've been reminded of that problem for at least six or seven years," she said.

"The problem lies squarely with village staff and village council for not having acted on it."

The problem lies squarely with village staff,'- Anmore resident Kathy Roberts

Fraser Health says the water quality in Anmore has improved, but not enough to lift the boil water advisory. It will continue testing the water Wednesday and Thursday.

For its part, the Village of Anmore will go ahead with a new chlorination booster station, but that won't be ready until the end of the month. 

But the new station does not come without controversy. Its price tag of more than $414,000 is more than six times the originally quoted cost of the station from back in 2005.

Meanwhile, Anmore residents will be left boiling their water for the foreseeable future. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.