Most residents under boil-water advisory

All Fort Frances residents living east of Keating Avenue, as well as water customers on Couchiching First Nation, remain under a boil-water advisory that the town declared shortly after noon Wednesday.
“We were doing maintenance [at the water tower] and there was a loss of pressure in our system,” Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig noted Wednesday. “It was a relatively short period of time—I believe all of four minutes.”
“But any time that happens, we are required to issue a boil-water advisory in our community,” he added. “The [advisory] will be in effect until we provide notification that it’s lifted.
“It’s all contingent on the samples we take, and getting approval from the Ministry of Public Health,” said McCaig. “And that takes a couple of days, so we’re anticipating Monday or Tuesday of next week.
“It’ll be on for probably five days at least.”
In a press release issued Wednesday, Dr. Pete Sarsfield, medical officer of health for the Northwestern Health Unit, verified the health unit “has determined that the safety of the drinking water cannot be guaranteed due to the loss of system [pressure]. . . .
“[And] until the safety of the water supply can be assured, all water from [east of the intersection of Keating Avenue and King’s Highway, including Couchiching First Nation] should be boiled for at least one minute if used for human consumption.”
“Human consumption” includes drinking, making infant formula, making ice, washing fruits and vegetables, brushing teeth, or making coffee, juice, or tea.
While the boil-water advisory is precautionary, general tips from the health unit include the following:
•Adults and teens may shower with untreated water as long as no water is swallowed.
Older children could be given a shower with a hand-held showerhead avoiding the face. Younger children should be sponge-bathed instead of bathing in a tub because they’re likely to swallow water.
•Water is safe for handwashing. Since the boil-water advisory has been issued as a precaution, there is no need for further disinfection beyond soap.
•Dishwashers are safe to use, as are washing machines.
•For cleaning countertops, chopping boards, or utensils that have come into contact with raw meat, use a bleach solution with 1/4 cup (60 ml) of bleach and one gallon of water (4.5 litres).
Do not reuse this solution.
•If your child is ill with diarrhea, clean/disinfect their toys with a mild bleach solution consisting of 1/4 cup (60 ml) of bleach into one gallon (4.5 litres) of water.
Dip toys into this solution and air-dry them.
•If you’re immuno-compromised, follow your physician’s and dietitian’s advice.
•Filtered water should not be considered safe and should be boiled for one minute prior to drinking of used for cooking, just like any other water.
Once the boil-water advisory is lifted, people are recommended to run their water faucets for one minute before using the water. This also applies to garden hoses and drinking fountains.
Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle and drain, and refill hot water heaters set below 45 C (the normal setting is 60 C).

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