The town of Drayton Valley was put under a mandatory boil water advisory Sunday following a mechanical malfunction in the town’s water treatment plant.

The malfunction, combined with turbidity or sediment in the water, clogged the valves and brought reservoir capacity down to only 26 per cent.

“The line that provided the chemical agent which is added to the water in the treatment process became clogged,” said Drayton Valley Mayor Glenn McLean.

“So a remedial measure has been implemented to address that but in the meantime caused very substantial depletion in our reservoir.”

Everyone in the town must bring their water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before drinking, brushing their teeth, making ice, cleaning raw foods or preparing infant formulas or juice.

Residents are also being asked to limit their water consumption to only what is essential.

McLean says town staff discovered the problem early Sunday morning. While remedial measures are now underway, he can’t say how long the boil water advisory will last.

“Until further notice at this point,” he said. “Obviously, we hope sooner, rather than later.”

The town is making potable water available for free at Frank Maddock High School, the Omniplex and the Park Valley Pool.

McLean says people should make sure they bring a container which is free of contamination to keep the water safe for drinking.