Health care workers in Vernon are scrambling for alternate sources of water.
A boil water advisory continues for customers on the Kalamalka Lake source because of high coliform bacteria counts. Immediate action was taken at Vernon Jubilee Hospital when the alert was initiated Sept. 2.
“It’s in effect for all people,” said Sue Carpenter, interim VJH administrator.
“We are asking them not to consume water from our taps or to use ice from the ice machines.”
A large quantity of bottled water has been required as the hospital has 164 patients on average daily.
“We are trying to purchase more,” said Carpenter.
Hospital staff are also following certain protocols when water is required for cooking and washing dishes.
Some properties on the Kalamalka Lake source have been switched over to Duteau Creek because of the boil water notice. To determine if your property has been switched, go to www.greatervernon.ca.
Samples of the Kalamalka Lake source were taken Tuesday and the results could be known Thursday.
“The boil water advisory could be on until at least the weekend and then we could likely go to a water quality advisory,” said Arnold Badke, RDNO’s general manager of engineering.
Under a water quality advisory, young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems should boil their water for one minute for drinking, washing produce, making beverages or ice and brushing teeth.
It’s believed the concerns over water quality are a result of bacteria growing on calcium carbonate in Kalamalka Lake.
“It’s a natural process that occurs every year but there’s a higher count than normal,” said Badke.