The Province is advising owners of private drinking-water wells in flooded areas in the Metro Vancouver Regional District and Fraser Valley Regional District that their wells may be at increased risk of contamination.
This is due to potential overflow or failures of liquid manure storage systems because of high precipitation caused by recent storms.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is working with agriculture operators to reduce the risks of liquid manure overflow. To review the order for operators and find resources to help manage debris due to flooding, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/waste-management/waste-discharge-authorization/flood-response#liquid-manure-overflow-risk
The Ministry of Health is advising residents who own or are responsible for a private drinking-water well that has been affected by flooding to assess their well and take action to protect the people who use water from the well.
Everyone must respect evacuation orders. Never re-enter the flood zone unless emergency management officials have indicated that you may do so.
Health authorities can provide advice about ensuring water is safe:
- Fraser Health: https://www.fraserhealth.ca/health-topics-a-to-z/drinking-water/private-well-owners#.YZVco-n-iju
- Interior Health: https://www.interiorhealth.ca/health-and-wellness/natural-disasters-and-emergencies/floods-and-landslides
- Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/public-health/environmental-health-inspections/drinking-water
- First Nations Health: https://www.fnha.ca/about/news-and-events/news/flood-safety-information
Specific information on well water testing and disinfection:
- BC Health File: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/well-water-testing
- Ministry of Environment – Disinfecting wells: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/air-land-water/water/water-wells/bc_gov_5402_water_well_disinfection_webbrochure.pdf
General Information about flooding can be found here: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/clean-after-flood
Info on supports and resources for agricultural producers: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/agricultural-land-and-environment/water/flooding-emergency-resources