No end in sight for Brome Lake boil-water advisory

People in Brome Lake have been boiling their water for seven weeks now after traces of fecal contamination turned up in one of the town’s three wells.

Fecal contamination found in unchlorinated well in early December

Marie-Josée Bégin says operating a vegetarian café means using a lot of water to rinse vegetables, fruits and sprouts. She says she's taken to bringing water from her own well because boiling water is too lengthy a process. (CBC)

People in Brome Lake have been boiling their water for seven weeks now after traces of fecal contamination turned up in one of the town’s three wells.

The town is testing the water supply to see if it can work without the contaminated well — but that could put a strain on the system.

“Considering that Jolibourg well is not chlorinated, when you get two bad tests with a non-chlorinated source, then you have to send a boil water advisory throughout the whole network,” says Carl Fiset,  the engineer in charge of Brome Lake's water supply.

So Brome Lake Mayor Richard Burcombe is leaning towards a second option — keeping the boil water advisory in place until the contaminated well gets its own chlorination system.

That means Brome Lake residents may have to continue boiling their water for at least another couple of months.

“The resolution for the authorization to put in a chlorination system on the Jolibourg well has been sent to the minister of environment and we're hoping that will be done as quick as possible,” Burcombe says.

Advisory bad for business

Marie-Josée Bégin is the owner of Pousse-Café, a vegetarian eatery in Knowlton.

She’s given up boiling her water and instead carts in jugs of water from her own private and clean well.

“I used to boil it at first, and then it could not cope with the demand because it has to be cooled and it's a lengthy process,” she says.

Just down the road at the Lakeview Inn, owner Van Voutsinas has been buying bottles of water for his guests. He says the advisory is bad for business.

“Some people with health issues are actually avoiding coming to this area,” Voutsinas says.

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