Boil water alert at Mabel Lake hall

Bacteria has forced the taps off at a rural Lumby community hall.

Bacteria has forced the taps off at a rural Lumby community hall.

A boil water notice has been issued for the Mabel Lake Community Hall on Shuswap Falls Road.

“It’s an old system and there’s a concern that there may be contamination,” said Rick Fairbairn, rural Lumby director.

Tests have indicated there is bacteria in the shallow well that serves the hall, which is owned by the Regional District of North Okanagan.

“The source hasn’t been determined but bacteria is common in the environment,” said Al Cotsworth, RDNO utilities manager.

Boil water signs have been posted inside and outside the facility.

“There is rental of the hall for reunions and weddings,” said Brian Jones, president of the Mabel Lake Community Association, which operates the hall.

“If people can possibly get sick or stomach cramps, we need to inform them.”

It’s hoped the boil water advisory won’t negatively impact rentals.

“People can bring their own water in for drinking and washing vegetables,” said Jones.

Presently, solutions to the bacteria problem are being sought.

“The alternatives may be drilling a new well or putting in a purification system,” said Cotsworth.

Accessing water from the adjacent Shuswap River is not considered an option.

“River water will also have bacteria from wildlife so we would still have to put a treatment plan in place,” said Cotsworth.

A treatment system could cost upwards of  $7,000.

“It’s an issue we have to deal with and we just need additional information to determine the best way to resolve the situation,” said Al McNiven, RDNO parks and recreation general manager.

There is no timeline for upgrades and it’s not known when the boil water advisory could be lifted.