As the municipality prepares for water system maintenance work this weekend, a boil water notice has already been issued.
The notice took effect Monday at 7 a.m. and will be lifted some time between March 10 and 17.
The maintenance involves Pressure Reducing Valve #10, part of Summerland’s water distribution system. This valve reduces the pressure from the large water line aligned along Prairie Valley Road from the water treatment plant.
The water main varies from 105 to 135 centimetres in diameter.
In order to service this valve, a 3.4-kilometre line must be drained.
Initially, the municipality had stated that the community would be without water for three days, beginning March 3 at 7 p.m. and ending March 6 at 7 a.m. However an alternative water supply has been found and as a result, most Summerland properties will continue to have water.
Around 58 properties cannot be connected to an alternative system and will not have water during the maintenance work. The owners of these properties have already been contacted by the municipality and have been told about the preparations they need to make.
During the time the boil water notice is in effect, water will still flow to most Summerland properties, but it will not meet the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.
Kris Johnson, director of works and utilities for the municipality, said chlorine from the water treatment plant is being eliminated to allow the draining of the water for the maintenance work.
The water in the taps is still safe for flushing toilets, showering and cleaning.
It can also be made safe to drink if it has been brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute.
“It’s the same water people drank before the water treatment plant was build in 2007 and commissioned in 2008,” Johnson said.
During the maintenance period, the water could appear murky or cloudy for a time, as sediment in pipes is being disturbed.
The water should quickly clear up, but if the cloudiness persists, residents are urged to contact the municipality.
If the water is cloudy or murky, or if it has sediments, residents are urged not to boil and drink the water.
At this time of year, the level of turbidity in Summerland’s water supply is relatively low, Johnson said.
During the weekend, when the maintenance work is taking place, Summerlanders are urged to conserve water.
Once the work has been completed, the boil water notice will remain in place until the water meets Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines once again and approval to lift the boil water notice is granted by the Interior Health Authority.
The notice is expected to be lifted between March 10 and 17.
Interior Health has reviewed the implementation plan for this project and provided full support for the plan to move forward as planned.
Information about the shutoff will be available at the municipality’s website at www.summerland.ca/watershutoff. Updates will also be available on Facebook and Twitter.
A communications centre will be set up at the Summerland Aquatic Centre, 13205 Kelly Ave. on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those with questions or seeking an update are asked to stop in or call 250-486-3765.
During the weekend shutoff, unexpected events such as the complete loss of water can be reported to the emergency line at 250-493-0005.