> Home > News Room > RMWB Wildfire Recovery Information > Health & Safety > Boil-Water Advisory Status

Boil-Water Advisory Status

Archived Information

The information on this page is archived and is no longer being maintained. Archived information is provided for reference, research or record keeping purposes and has not been altered or updated since it was archived.

Latest News

Aug. 17: RMWB: Advisory Lifted
Aug. 17: AHS: Advisory Lifted
All areas serviced by the Fort McMurray water treatment plant.

Previously from AHS

July 15: Advisory Lifted:
Southeast Regional Water Line (to Anzac)

June 30: Advisory Lifted:
Gregoire, Mackenzie Park, Prairie Creek Residential, Saline Creek, Saline Plateau, Airport Lands, and Saprae Creek Estates

June 16: Advisory Lifted:
Thickwood, Wood Buffalo, Dickinsfield, Timberlea, Stone Creek and Parsons Creek North.

June 10: Advisory Lifted: Grayling Terrace

June 4: Advisory Lifted: Lower Townsite

Downloads

Cleaning and Disinfecting a Cistern

Water Sampling for Bacteria Testing

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has confirmed that water quality has been restored to a safe level to all water system users serviced by the Fort McMurray water treatment plant.

As such, the boil-water advisory has been lifted, effective immediately, for all areas with active water service by the water treatment plant, including the Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways neighbourhoods.

However, the water mains and service connections in several heavily damaged areas of the Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways neighbourhoods have not been flushed, do not have active water service and are currently out of service. These water mains and service connections are not in the “green homes” area that is currently under review by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Municipal staff will be flushing and rehabilitating these water mains and service connections moving forward. Please refer to the following maps for details on buildings with and without water service.

Boil-water advisories had previously been lifted for rural communities south of Fort McMurray as well as the neighbourhoods of Gregoire, Mackenzie Park the Lower Townsite area, Grayling Terrace, Thickwood, Wood Buffalo, Dickinsfield, Timberlea, Stone Creek and Parsons Creek North.

Residents in areas where a boil-water advisory has recently been lifted should flush, clean and sanitize their water systems using the specific flushing procedures described below.

Flushing Procedures After Boil-Water Advisory is Lifted

If you live in an area where a boil-water advisory has been lifted: You need to flush, clean, and sanitize:

  • Water pipes
  • Plumbed appliances
  • Water treatment devices
  • Water storage facilities

Before you use water in your home:

  • Remove all aerator or screen devices from faucets.
  • Run hot and cold water faucets for at least five minutes before you use them.
  • If you live in an apartment or condominium, run all faucets for at least five minutes, until the water is clear and any air in the plumbing has been released.
  • Rinse out any sediment or debris from the aerator or screen devices and put them back on the faucet.
  • Flush, clean, and sanitize appliances with water line connections (e.g., fridges with water and ice dispensers) following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Disinfect water filtration devices following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Run your water softener through a regeneration cycle following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Replace filters on any tap water filtration devices, and flush the fixture according to the manufacturer’s directions
  • Hot water heaters and hot water heating systems may require that some water be drained to get rid of any sediment.
  • If your hot water heater was set below 45 °C, drain and refill the tank.

Backgrounder

A boil-water advisory was first issued for the Fort McMurray area on May 4 in response to the wildfire. This advisory was lifted in stages, pending the outcome of flushing and testing activities.

Why was the boil-water advisory issued?

The boil-water advisory has been issued because:

  • The impact of the wildfire to the drinking water system, including the water treatment plant, was unclear.
  • The water may have been contaminated during the fire.
  • Untreated, raw water did not enter the distribution system at any time during the emergency.

What work was done to make the water safe to drink?

The Municipality has been working on completing the following steps to ensure drinking water in your home is safe to drink (“potable”).

Step 1: Confirm drinking water treatment plant is making potable water and meeting water treatment guidelines. This includes conducting:

  • Water testing to ensure no harmful microbes or chemicals
  • Inspections to ensure equipment is operating properly

Step 2: Flush water that may have been contaminated (non-potable) out of pipes. Drain and clean reservoirs.

Step 3: Fill pipes with potable water from the water treatment plant.

Step 4: Test water in the distribution system to ensure there are no harmful microbes or chemicals in the water supply.

Step 5: Ask residents flush water from their pipes that may have been contaminated.

You can view a diagram showing steps for ensuring clean drinking water in Fort McMurray.

Why are residents asked to flush their plumbing after a boil-water advisory is lifted?

Water has been sitting in the plumbing in homes for several weeks. This standing water can allow harmful germs to grow. Flushing water from the cold and hot water taps for five minutes before using this water ensures the standing water has been removed.

Why was the boil-water advisory lifted in stages?

The RMWB water distribution system is large and organized into neighbourhoods. Water treatment system operators worked throughout the City to flush and test the distribution system and reservoirs.

As neighbourhoods and reservoirs were completely flushed and water testing confirmed the water was safe, the boil-water advisory was lifted in that area.

Boil-water advisories in areas most impacted by the fire remained in effect for a longer time.

All Winter Maintenance Zones are relaxed until further notice.