Some Hedley residents upset with lack of notification of drinking water problems

Some Hedley residents upset with lack of notification of drinking water problems

Water woes in Hedley have some residents questioning the communication plan of the HID

  • Dec. 11, 2018 10:34 a.m.

Questions surrounding the Hedley Improvement District’s communication plan have surfaced since it became public that the community’s water had a spike in coliform levels.

Coliform are bacteria found in everything from animal waste, soil and vegetation.

Residents lashed out on social media stating they hadn’t received a call or written paper notice and didn’t hear about the do not consume order for more than 24 hours or more after it was issued.

T.J. Bratt one of the owners of Hedley’s only store the Hedley Country Market said a notice was not given to the store until mid-day Saturday.

A water sample was sent to the lab on Dec. 4. Testing takes several days to complete and the HID was informed late Friday afternoon that coliform levels had increased.

“A community notice was casually dropped off Saturday afternoon at the store. Knowing of the Community Club Bazaar (Saturday), HID should have contacted them and the store should have been first to know as we are in touch with 150 plus people daily. We found out through our own connections not through the HID Friday evening,” Bratt wrote.

A number of other people stated they didn’t receive a notice at all while others received multiple phone calls and written notice.

Lynn Wells, chair of the HID, said within a short time of finding out the test results on Friday she personally started making calls to vulnerable people in the community including the sick and elderly.

“Those people then made calls and a lot of people heard about it that way. There was a good cross-section of Hedley that received calls within an hour or two,” she said. “First thing in the morning Saturday we were down at the HID office and printing out notices and trustees along with the water employees were out going door-to-door.”

Related: UPDATE: Hedley residents will be without water for at least one week

She also said she contacted one of the family members that works at the store and left a voicemail Friday explaining the situation and encouraging the store to bring in extra water so people could buy clean drinking water locally.

The voicemail was not checked until the next day, she said.

For those that say they didn’t receive notice she didn’t have an answer.

“We did our best to put a notice on everyone’s door. Maybe the wind blew it away, I cant say. We did make every effort to get to every household,” she said.

Water was brought to the Hedley Community Club Saturday by the area’s regional director Tim Roberts.

More water was brought in and given out and delivered to homes for those that needed it by the Country Store later in the day Saturday.

Wells said the HID has no plans in place to provide water when it is undrinkable at this time and noted emergency preparedness states everyone should have enough clean drinking water on-hand to last 72 hours.

Wells said the HID will debrief on how the situation was handled.

“Everything can always be improved,” she said. “I don’t know the last time Hedley’s water had a problem. There was a concern in the spring that perhaps the water pipe across the creek was punctured and we sent out boil water notices then. We do whatever Interior Health tells us to do.”

Wells would not comment on what might have caused the spike in coliform levels, but did say work was being done by contractors to repair a water supply pipe that had been damaged during freshet.

“I don’t want to lay blame at this point. It’s all speculation at this point. We don’t know all the facts yet. We might never know all the facts,” she said.

For at least five months the water supply has also had slightly elevated levels of arsenic in the water relating to an extreme freshet this spring.

Wells said the only way to reduce levels of arsenic would be for the HID to put in a treatment plant, which would cost a lot of money. She said Interior Health suggested the community let arsenic levels recede naturally. But, because higher than normal levels of arsenic are in the water residents cannot simply boil water to make it consumable as it raises arsenic levels further.

The water supply was super chlorinated by HID water officials Saturday and again Sunday and another water sample was taken to Kelowna Monday. The results are not expected until later in the week.

To report a typo, email:
editor@keremeosreview.com
.


@TaraBowieBC
editor@keremeosreview.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Highway 3, east of Osoyoos was closed all Monday due to a liquid tar spilled all over the road.
Highway 3, east of Osoyoos, is now open to single lane traffic

The highway was closed all Monday due to liquid tar spilled all over the road

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Pixabay.com photo)
No COVID-19 baby boom in Summerland

Pandemic has not resulted in surge in births in 2020 and 2021

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A West Kelowna man was seriously injured in a single-vehicle collision early on Tuesday morning. (Black Press file photo)
Single vehicle collision seriously injures West Kelowna man

The man was driving a pickup truck that went off the road and caught on fire

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

Kelowna artist Bobby Vandenhoorn recently completed mural of late Canadian rock icon and activist Gord Downie now adorns Brenda Dalzell’s Sicamous business, the Bruhn Crossing Urban Market. (Contributed)
Canadian rock legend, activist Gord Downie inspires Sicamous mural

Business owner hopes artwork will help foster ongoing conversations around reconciliation

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Most Read