The district of Wells is tracking a potential lead contamination of their water supply. (File Photo)

The district of Wells is tracking a potential lead contamination of their water supply. (File Photo)

Possible lead contamination in drinking water at Wells; says district CAO

The district is working with Northern Health to confirm their suspicions

Pregnant women, babies and children should not be drinking the water in Wells due to potential lead contamination.

The District of Wells issued a news release Friday, Feb. 12, noting it is working closely with Northern Health to confirm the contamination.

“We honestly expected some of the historical buildings to have some issues, but I did not expect a water main to come up positive as well,” district CAO Donna Forseille said.

Additional testing is should confirm the contamination. In the meantime, Forseille said the district will begin accepting bids from companies to fix the issue on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

“The hope is we can isolate it, but we just don’t know,” she said. “We’ll award something hopefully by the end of the week, and they will do two to three months of investigations.”

Certain populations are at a higher risk of damage from lead contamination.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Northern Health recommends that those at highest risk of harm from exposure to lead in drinking water (pregnant women, infants and children) use alternative sources of drinking water until additional information is available,” the release reads.

The District of Wells will provide potable water while investigations continue. Five-gallon jugs will be available for pickup on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at their offices. Forseille said they’re getting a first shipment of 500 bottles and will order more depending on demand, to be distributed weekly. Those interested should call the district office 250-994-3330.

The release adds running cold water for one to three minutes has been shown in some cases to reduce lead in drinking water.

“The length of time required for flushing depends on water pressure, your internal plumbing, and your pattern of water usage throughout the day – usually 15 seconds to four minutes is appropriate. Your finger is a good judge of when the water is as cold as it is going to get,” a Northern Health fact sheet reads.

A HealthLink BC fact sheet says lead in drinking water fact sheet notes skin does not easily absorb lead from water, but is more dangerous when ingested.

“Lead can harm the intellectual development, behaviour, size and hearing of developing fetuses, infants and young children,” it reads. “The health impact depends on many factors including the amount consumed over time, age, nutrition and underlying health issues.”

Over 200 people live in Wells according to the 2016 census, in 158 dwellings.

For more information on potential lead contamination in water sources visit www.northernhealth.ca/sites/northern_health/files/services/environmental-health/documents/northern-health-bulletin-lead.pdf.

READ MORE: Investigation: Lead in some Canadian water worse than Flint

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


@GimliJetsMan
cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cassidy Dankochik joined the Observer’s staff in Aug. of 2020 by way of Gimli, Altona, and Flin Flon, Manitoba. (Photo by Tracey Roberts)
EDITOR’S COLUMN: Optimism at council

Cassidy Dankochik enjoyed the news from the City of Quesnel’s most recent meeting

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: The aging ranchers bumble along

Not all consumers can touch the land, see the farms and converse with the folks that produce food

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read