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Municipality provides update on disinfection of Fort McMurray water system

(Fort McMurray, AB – May 26, 2020) – Disinfection and flushing of the Fort McMurray water system is progressing at different rates. 

“We’re making good progress but this a complex operation with a lot of moving parts,” said Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Matthew Hough. “I know the first thing that people want to know is when the Boil Water Advisory will be lifted. We are working diligently to make this happen as soon as possible.”

Boil Water Advisory

The Municipality is working with Alberta Health Services and coordinated supports from Alberta Environment and Parks to lift the Boil Water Advisory as soon as possible. The tentative plan is to have the Boil Water Advisory lifted in a phased approach, as some parts of the water system will be disinfected before others.

First phase

Northern Lights Regional Health Centre

The Boil Water Advisory was lifted for the hospital on Monday, May 25. Note: The hospital was already trucking in potable water prior to the Advisory being lifted. 

Second phase

The estimated timeline for the following areas is within two to three weeks: 

Lower Townsite including Grayling Terrace and Waterways
Parsons Creek 
Thickwood including Dickinsfield and Wood Buffalo

Note: The timeline is subject to change.

Third phase

The estimated timeline for the following areas is within three to five weeks:

Beacon Hill
Prairie Creek
Saprae Creek 
Timberlea including Eagle Ridge and Stone Creek 
Taiga Nova Eco-Industrial Park

Note: The timeline is subject to change. 

With respect to Timberlea, during the cleaning process, structural damage was identified at one of the reservoirs.  Repairs are in progress and once complete, the Timberlea reservoir distribution system will be disinfected and flushed.

What residents will experience
Crews flushing hydrants in their neighbourhoods.
Dechlorination pucks at flushing points. Please don’t move them.  
High chlorine levels will increase the odor of chlorine in the water; the level of chlorine is below the limit established by the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Chlorine levels will subside as flushing concludes.
Discolouration may occur and is normal. 
Water remains safe for bathing and non-consumptive use without boiling.

What residents can do
Water can be safely consumed after a one-minute rolling boil.
To reduce the smell of chlorine, water can be boiled for longer or left on the counter or in the fridge overnight without a lid. This allows the chlorine to evaporate/dissipate.

More information
Visit rmwb.ca/recovery for more information, including detailed FAQs. For general information about how to use water safely during a boil water advisory, please visit albertahealthservices.calinks to external site or call Health Link at 8-1-1. To Learn about Canadian drinking water quality guidelines, drinking water treatment requirements and treated water quality assurance, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/drinking-water.aspxlinks to external site.


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