North Battleford under boil water advisory after treatment plant error

North Battleford, Sask., is under a precautionary boil water advisory following an 'operational error' at the city's water treatment plant.

An 'operational error' at water treatment plant leads to precautionary boil water advisory

Water is a sensitive subject in North Battleford. (City of North Battleford)

The entire city of North Battleford, Sask., is under a precautionary boil water advisory.

The city says an operational error at the water treatment plant just after noon Tuesday led partially treated water to enter the treated water reservoir.

Officials say all drinking water must now be boiled for at least one minute. Water used for household chores like dishwashing, washing fruit and vegetables and brushing teeth must also be boiled.

'Operational error' leads to plant shut down

On Tuesday, at approximately 12:16 p.m. CST, the partially treated water bypassed one of the treatment processes at the F.E. Holliday water treatment plant for six minutes.

The partially treated water flowed into the treated water reservoir of the surface water plant, which caused a water quality alarm to go off.

The plant was shut down soon after.

On Tuesday evening, officials evaluated the situation and determined that "in all likelihood the partially treated water remained within the water treatment plant."

The City of North Battleford is disinfecting and flushing water from the treated surface water plant reservoirs.

It has also begun to flush the water main closest to the water treatment plant as an additional precaution, in case water had somehow escaped the plant before it shutdown.

The City says additional water testing is underway and it appears it will take two or three days before it can ensure water is safe for drinking.

The health region says it has received no reports of illness related to the error.

City has history of water-related issues

In 2001, more than 7,000 North Battleford residents became sick when a parasite called cryptosporidium entered the water supply during routine maintenance of a chemical filter.

Lab tests confirmed 361 cases of illness, however no one died.

With files from the Canadian Press


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