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Quesnel Lake water advisory issued

Water advisory area a posted by Interior Health for Mount Polley Do Not Use Order. - Photo submitted
Water advisory area a posted by Interior Health for Mount Polley Do Not Use Order.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Although test results continue to show that water sourced from Quesnel Lake is safe to drink, reports indicate that water quality is changing as lake water and the sediment plume shifts, Interior Health said in a press released issued during the weekend.

"Residents who source their water from Quesnel Lake may notice increased turbidity, sediment, and/or a change in taste or odour," IH said. "In these cases, residents may wish to consider using alternate sources for their water. Specifically individuals are reminded they should not be drinking cloudy water."

Point of use filters that are NSF certified (ie. commonly used systems in households drawing water from lakes or wells) will safely remove the suspended sediment.

Interior Health is continuously reviewing data provided by the Ministry of Environment.

A Do Not Use order for drinking water, personal, and recreational use remains in effect for the impact zone directly affected by the by the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach which includes Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek, and on Quesnel Lake, but only the area within 100 metres of the visible sediment plume where Hazeltine Creek runs into Quesnel Lake.

The public should also continue to refrain from using these waterways for recreational purposes.

The Do Not Use order includes swimming and fishing. A map of the water restriction areas is available at http://bit.ly/1oI8rh6.

Please contact the IH Health Protection Office at 1-888-702-7771 for more information.

Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Ann Louie said Saturday the band is concerned about the degree and quality of communication between the B.C. government and the residents of Likely.

"It is the obligation of the Province to provide consistent oversight of the company's response to this spill," Louie said.

The next public meeting is planned for Tuesday, Aug. 26, 7 p.m. at the Likely Hall.

Representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Interior Health Authority, and the Cariboo Regional District will be available to answer questions and share current information about response to the Mount Polley tailings storage facility breach.

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