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Mar 11, 2020

Town updates public on reasons for Boil Water Advisory and next steps

The Town of Ladysmith is releasing more information to the public explaining the reasons for issuing a Boil Water Advisory for residents and businesses of Ladysmith, Stz'uminus First Nation and the Diamond Improvement District.

The Boil Water Advisory was issued by the Town on Thursday evening at approximately 6:30 p.m. in consultation with Island Health.

As a result of human error, the 'Chicken Ladder' valve had been left open, allowing the unintended release of untested water into our reservoir system.

'Chicken Ladder' describes a location for the Town's intake pipe along Holland Creek.

The Town worked closely with Island Health during the incident and it was agreed that a Boil Water Advisory was the appropriate measure and should be communicated broadly to the users of the water system. 

The Town is now reviewing our policies and procedures to determine what changes are required to prevent similar types of incidents from happening in the future.

As part of our review, we are also looking at our overall communications plan and will employ a variety of tools at our disposal for informing the public, depending on the different level of risk for Island Health's drinking water notices.

A Boil Water Advisory is level 2 out of 4 on the Island Health scale.

During the incident, we utilized our website, social media, email newsletter, the media -including radio, television as well as print and online publications - posted notices at our offices and facilities, and sent an email alert through the CVRD's CivicReady system to keep residents informed with daily updates on the Boil Water Advisory.

As a small community, we also depend heavily upon word-of-mouth and sincerely thank those residents who picked up the phone, or visited a neighour or family member, to inform them of the advisory.

In the future, the Town will work with our community organizations to help advise local residents.

We also plan to enhance effective use of the CVRD's CivicReady emergency and routine notification system and we encourage the public to sign-up here.

You can also receive weekly up-to-date information bulletins, news releases and other Town news in your email inbox by subscribing to the Town's email newsletter.

Updates and additional information can be found on the Town's website at www.ladysmith.ca, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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