Janvier Water Quality Expected Back To Normal By Next Week, Investigation Underway

Everybody in Janvier should have running water again by early next week.

Many have been left without since last Friday after the RMWB shut down the water treatment plant due to a chemical mixup.

A total of 113 dwellings were impacted – six in the hamlet and 107 on the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation. Residents who receive trucked water are not impacted.

Over 100 residents have voluntarily evacuated to Fort McMurray, getting support from many groups and businesses such as the Athabasca Tribal Council, Wood Buffalo Food Bank, and Salvation Army.

When it comes to provisions from the municipality for the evacuees, CAO Annette Antoniak says Indigenous Services Canada is currently overseeing it.

“I have to make it clear that there are protocols in place when you’re dealing with First Nation’s on reserve and we been following those protocols.”

Impacted people still in the community continue to receive bottled water from the RMWB, while washroom facilities and a mobile shower cart are stationed across the community.

Water Back in Homes

Water pressure is expected to be back in all homes within the next 48-hours.

This will allow people to do laundry and flush toilets in their homes.

“If residents run their taps, the water may appear cloudy and this is a normal part of the initial flushing process when water has been turned off for a while, sitting in lines,” said Scott Davis, Incident Manager and Director of Emergency Management with the RMWB.

The do not consume advisory set by Alberta Health Services is still in effect.

After water pressure is restored in every home, samples will be taken from the hamlet and First Nation to ensure the water is safe to consume.

They’re hoping to have this all done by February 4.

Until then, security is in the hamlet ensuring vacant homes aren’t being broken into.

No Contact To Chemicals

The municipality also says no one came into contact with the contaminated water.

“Our distribution system was not impacted at any time,” added Nicole Kimmett, Response Operations Leader.

“We know it takes approximately two days from when the water enters the water treatment plant and moves through the plant and our processes into our reservoir and out to the distribution system.”

She adds the plant was turned off immediately after the chemical spill took place.

Meanwhile, the RMWB has started an investigation to determine how this happened.

There is no timeline on when this should be completed.

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