The latest Mt Polley water samples from Quesnel Lake are consistent with previous results and meet safety guidelines, according to the Ministry of Environment.
Robert Birtles, Environmental Health Specialist with Interior Health, says the Ministry of Environment and Mt. Polley continue to actively monitor the lake and send sample results to Interior Health for interpretation if there’s a risk to human health.
“At this time, in time we haven’t observed a chemical risk to human health.”
“We are still stating though, that all individuals and this is throughout Interior Health and British Columbia who is using surface water should be treating their water for pathogens; that’s germs in the water.”
Birtles says if residents are unable to treat their water, they should boil all water used for drinking, making ice, or washing fruits and vegetables.
Although the samples show turbidity levels above the B.C drinking water guidelines, Birtles says that was expected as a result of the annual fall overturn of the lake and adds that Mt Polley has committed to deliver water during this period of high turbidity.
As for exceedances in total aluminum, there is no evidence of adverse health effects for aluminum at levels above the guidelines, according to Health Canada.
Results for aquatic life meanwhile showed total copper levels above the chronic water quality guidelines.
The Ministry of Environment stresses however that exceedances in a single sample do not automatically indicate impacts to aquatic life as chronic guidelines are based on the average of five samples collected over a 30 day period.
Further information on the latest Mt Polley water sample results, which were taken on November 19th, can be viewed on the Ministry of Environment’s dedicated Mt Polley site.