Equipment repaired after water quality alert

A technical issue that forced a water quality alert for some Greater Vernon residents has been fixed.

A technical issue that forced a water quality alert for some Greater Vernon residents has been fixed.

The Interior Health Authority advised users of the Mission Hill water treatment plant system Saturday to discard water they may have collected between Sept. 26 and 29. The situation arose after a pump didn’t turn on in part of the chlorination process.

“We fixed it right away,” said Trafford Hall, with the Regional District of North Okanagan, which operates Greater Vernon’s utility.

Hall points out that there are various stages of chlorination and the water was always safe to drink.

“At all times the water was treated. There was low risk,” he said.

“It was an operational issue. There was no elevated risk.”

Interior Health Authority staff assessed the impact to public health and while the breach was determined to be of low risk, it was decided to issue an alert.

“Because the breach had already taken place, this alert was sent out just in case there were immunocompromised individuals who may have kept some water during the time period listed,” said Lannea Parfitt, an IHA communications officer.

“From what I understand, everything was back to normal quite quickly after the initial breach,” said Parfitt.

“I don’t believe we’ve received any calls from anyone with concerns about their health.”

The decision to issue an alert was made by  IHA, and the regional district hopes to have a discussion about communications and how to keep residents informed.

“We want to nail down notification instructions,” said Hall.