The district of Wells is tracking a potential lead contamination of their water supply. (File Photo)

The district of Wells is tracking a potential lead contamination of their water supply. (File Photo)

Possible lead contamination in drinking water at Wells; says district CAO

The district is working with Northern Health to confirm their suspicions

Pregnant women, babies and children should not be drinking the water in Wells due to potential lead contamination.

The District of Wells issued a news release Friday, Feb. 12, noting it is working closely with Northern Health to confirm the contamination.

“We honestly expected some of the historical buildings to have some issues, but I did not expect a water main to come up positive as well,” district CAO Donna Forseille said.

Additional testing is should confirm the contamination. In the meantime, Forseille said the district will begin accepting bids from companies to fix the issue on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

“The hope is we can isolate it, but we just don’t know,” she said. “We’ll award something hopefully by the end of the week, and they will do two to three months of investigations.”

Certain populations are at a higher risk of damage from lead contamination.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Northern Health recommends that those at highest risk of harm from exposure to lead in drinking water (pregnant women, infants and children) use alternative sources of drinking water until additional information is available,” the release reads.

The District of Wells will provide potable water while investigations continue. Five-gallon jugs will be available for pickup on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at their offices. Forseille said they’re getting a first shipment of 500 bottles and will order more depending on demand, to be distributed weekly. Those interested should call the district office 250-994-3330.

The release adds running cold water for one to three minutes has been shown in some cases to reduce lead in drinking water.

“The length of time required for flushing depends on water pressure, your internal plumbing, and your pattern of water usage throughout the day – usually 15 seconds to four minutes is appropriate. Your finger is a good judge of when the water is as cold as it is going to get,” a Northern Health fact sheet reads.

A HealthLink BC fact sheet says lead in drinking water fact sheet notes skin does not easily absorb lead from water, but is more dangerous when ingested.

“Lead can harm the intellectual development, behaviour, size and hearing of developing fetuses, infants and young children,” it reads. “The health impact depends on many factors including the amount consumed over time, age, nutrition and underlying health issues.”

Over 200 people live in Wells according to the 2016 census, in 158 dwellings.

For more information on potential lead contamination in water sources visit www.northernhealth.ca/sites/northern_health/files/services/environmental-health/documents/northern-health-bulletin-lead.pdf.

READ MORE: Investigation: Lead in some Canadian water worse than Flint

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


@GimliJetsMan
cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

The Williams Lake Trail Riders Arena is slated to have a new roof installed this spring after funding from the province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Trail Riders Arena, stable stalls, to get new roof at Stampede Grounds

Some of the stalls currently aren’t able to be rented out due to leaks in the roof

A sign is seen this past summer outside Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in First Nation completes second round of vaccinations

A total of 26 people have since recovered from COVID-19 after having tested positive

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Volunteers, police search Highway 97 for articles related to high-speed chase

Search will stretch from Canco Gas Station in Lac La Hache to 150 Mile House.

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Most Read