Manitoba

Virden water advisory remains due to arsenic levels

A four-month-old water quality advisory remains in effect in Virden, Man., because of arsenic levels that are slightly above the latest provincial standards.

Provincial officials issued advisory four months ago

A four-month-old water quality advisory remains in effect in Virden, Man., because of arsenic levels that are slightly above the latest provincial standards.

The Manitoba government issued the advisory in April, warning residents about the safety of their drinking water.

Officials say the amount of arsenic in Virden's water supply has actually been less than what it was in past years, but the advisory was prompted by a recent change in provincial standards.

Dr. Susan Roberecki of Manitoba Health says a lifetime exposure to slightly elevated arsenic levels can produce a small increase in a person's risk of developing cancer.

"You can reduce your exposure to arsenic by reducing the amount of water that you drink from the town water and … using an alternative water supply for part of your daily drinking water needs," she said.

Roberecki added that residents who rely on the local water supply as their primary source of drinking water can "reduce the amount that you drink from that source, and that would reduce your risk over the long term.

"It's still a low-level risk," she said.

Officials with the Town of Virden told CBC News they are working on meeting the province's new water standards.

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