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Parts of Canmore still under boil water advisory, as crews work to flush lines

·2 min read
Parts of Canmore and nearby communities are under a boil water advisory.  (CBC - image credit)
Parts of Canmore and nearby communities are under a boil water advisory. (CBC - image credit)

Parts of Canmore and surrounding areas remain under a boil water advisory after high turbidity levels were detected in the Alberta town's supply on Friday — and the town said the advisory could potentially continue into next week.

The Town of Canmore said Epcor, the utility company that manages water services in the region, was putting a new water line into service when it detected the issue.

"Crews isolated the new waterline from the existing distribution system to prevent the turbidity from entering the rest of the water supply; however, EPCOR began receiving reports from residents of cloudy or brown tap water," the town posted on social media.

Crews were working neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood to flush the lines, but the town said that as of 5:23 p.m. on Saturday the work was taking longer than expected.

The town also apologized to residents and businesses that weren't notified the flushing process can cause water pressure to drop, or stop entirely.

"We were not aware of the extent of the potential impacts of flushing on water pressure, and we understand that this unexpected lack of water was upsetting for the affected area," an update read.

"We know that this is an unfortunate and disruptive situation – especially on a long weekend."

The boil water advisory was lifted for some areas as of Saturday evening: Dead Man's Flats, Harvie Heights, the Canmore Nordic Centre, Three Sisters Resort, Peaks of Grassi, portions of Rundleview, and portions of the Homesteads.

All other residents were asked to continue to boil water for at least one minute before drinking or consuming it in any way.

The tap water is still safe for washing clothes and bathing, but people should avoid using it for brushing their teeth.

"Consumption of microbiologically-contaminated water may result in illness and stomach flu-like symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, and headaches," the Town of Canmore said on its website.

Water stations have been set up around the town, and town emergency services are distributing bottled water to those who do not have access to boiled water or vehicles out of the Canmore Civic Centre.

The latest information on the advisory can be found on the Alberta Emergency Alert website.

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