Brown water episode likely again, officials tell Lower Mainland
Lower Mainland residents are being warned to stock up on clean water after yesterday’s wet and wild weather threatened a replay of last year’s brown water episode.
City officials said that up to 150 millimetres of rain is expected to fall by Thursday on the mountains near Vancouver’s water supply lakes, pushing sedimentary runoff into city reservoirs.
High levels of sediment – turbidity – were responsible for a boil water advisory that lasted nearly two weeks after the area was lashed by violent rainstorms last November.
Metro Vancouver spokesman Bill Morrell said that turbidity in the Seymour, Capilano and Coquitlam reservoirs rose significantly yesterday and officials were closely monitoring it.
"What happened last year was certainly unprecedented and we hope we don’t reach that level again," he said. "But we would much rather be safe and alert the public."
Morrell added that while turbidity makes drinking water unpleasant, it is not dangerous. However, those with compromised immune systems should take extra precautions while sediment levels remain high.
The weekend weather also wreaked havoc on Lower Mainland roads, with about 30 accidents in the southwest alone, Vancouver police say.
Const. Tim Fanning cautioned that darkness and rain will make for dismal conditions over the next few days and drivers should allow for extra time to get where they are going.
In another flashback to last year’s turbulent weather, a mudslide forced the closure of the Stanley Park seawall yesterday. The seawall re-opened on Nov. 19 after being closed since last December’s windstorms. This slide should be cleaned up in a few days.