Water wells pipe from the B.C. Coast to the Rocky Mountains are now safe
Water wells pipes from the British Columbia Coast to Alaska’s Rocky Mountains have now been tested for toxins linked to the Bichir River.
“We’re all extremely pleased that our tests have confirmed that we have a water well that is safe for human consumption,” said Alberta Environment Minister Ted Fortin, who announced the new results at a press conference Thursday.
“The water wells are not contaminated with contaminants that we’ve had in the past and will be safe for use.”
The Bichira River in Alberta has been linked to several deaths in the region, and Fortin said the tests are also being done to see if the water wells have the same levels of contaminants as before.
Alberta Environment, which oversees water wells, said the water well is still in its earliest stages of construction and testing.
The province will conduct a “long-term monitoring program” and continue to investigate how the water was treated, Fortin added.
“As this continues to be studied, we will be able to say more about what caused the incidents, but it is very safe.”
Fortin also announced a $3 million investment to improve water safety in the province.
The Alberta government’s new program is part of a $10 million project that also includes a new wastewater treatment facility in the city of Abbotsford, a $4.8 million project to build new homes in the Fraser Valley, and $5.7 million to upgrade a wastewater treatment plant in Abbots.
Fortin’s comments came a day after an Alberta coroner’s report found there were four deaths linked to contaminated water wells in the Bancroft area.
In 2015, the province’s Auditor General said there were 15 cases linked to water well pipes that connected to the Fraser River.
In response, Fortnich announced a new testing program for water wells that would cost about $4 million, a new $5 million water well facility and new wastewater-treatment plants.
In a news release announcing the water test results, the minister said there was no evidence that any of the wells had been contaminated with harmful contaminants before tests were conducted.
“This is a very positive step,” Fortin told reporters.
“It is good news for our drinking water, and we are hopeful it will be another step in reducing the number of contaminated water supplies in B.S. The Bancrotts well is the most significant in the Lower Mainland in terms of the number and type of cases.”