The City of Quesnel has issued a water quality advisory due to the levels of manganese in its drinking water supply.
The advisory was announced Thursday, June 23.
“The City of Quesnel’s drinking water system has not deteriorated; only the Canadian Guidelines for drinking water have changed,” read a news release.
“The City received the new Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines released by Health Canada in 2019. In May 2019, following Northern Health’s recommendations, the City notified residents through the City’s social media pages, website, and email subscribers.”
Health Canada’s maximum acceptable concentration for manganese is now classified as 0.12 mg/L, and currently the City of Quesnel water system averages at approximately 0.22 mg/L.
In a Northern Health bulletin on frequently asked questions regarding manganese, Northern Health noted consuming a small amount of manganese, an essential element or nutrient for all living organisms, from food or water is needed to stay healthy.
New research, however, has shown that consuming drinking water with high levels of manganese may impact the memory, attention, motor function, and overall intellectual development of infants and young children.
As a precautionary measure, Northern Health recommends using an alternate source of water below the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality when preparing infant formula.
The City said it is actively working with Northern Health, and an engineering firm to provide water treatment options with cost estimates.
There are no concerns for other community members consuming City water or for community members, including infants, to use City water for showering, bathing and other household uses.
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